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Asia Express: China's CBDC expansion and Malaysia emerge as Hong Kong's new crypto rival

Asia Express: China’s CBDC expansion and Malaysia emerge as Hong Kong’s new crypto rival

Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his support for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) during his address at the 2023 Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit. He proposed expanding the use of local currency settlements among SCO countries, promoting sovereign digital currency cooperation, and establishing SCO development banks.

The People’s Bank of China reported that there are currently 13.61 billion digital yuan CBDCs in circulation, but experts have noted that the currency has struggled to gain traction despite constant promotion.

In other news, the cost of obtaining a crypto exchange license in Hong Kong has surged to HK$100 million ($12.77 million), leading some teams to relocate to Southeast Asia where they believe it is more advantageous to operate crypto projects.

The Chinese cross-chain bridge protocol Multichain experienced a hack, resulting in over $126 million in funds being drained. This is not the first time Multichain has been hacked, as it suffered a $7.9 million hack in July 2021. The CEO of Multichain has been missing for nearly two months, with rumors suggesting he may have been arrested by Chinese police.

Singapore’s Monetary Authority will require Digital Payment Token (DPT) providers to place clients’ assets in a statutory trust by the end of the year. Crypto lending and staking services will be prohibited for retail investors but allowed for institutional and accredited investors.

Thai cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub has raised $17.1 million by selling 9.22% of its equity to Thai conglomerate Asphere Innovations PLC. The exchange holds significant assets and customer deposits but also has liabilities.

Japanese video game giant Sega has signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korean NFT firm Line Next to remake one of Sega’s classic games on its Web3 gaming platform, Game Dosi. Sega is known for its iconic franchise Sonic the Hedgehog.