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Hong Kong approves first batch of spot bitcoin, ether ETFs in drive to become crypto hub

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Hong Kong approved the applications of several spot bitcoin and ether exchange-traded funds on Monday, as the region continues its drive to become a regional crypto hub.

China Asset Management, a major Chinese asset manager, said that its Hong Kong unit has received approval in principle from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission to offer retail asset management services related to spot crypto ETFs. It plans to issue spot bitcoin and ether ETFs in collaboration with OSL and BOCI International. OSL said it will act as the “first virtual asset trading and sub-custodian partner” of China Asset Management for the upcoming ETFs.

Harvest Global Investments’ two spot crypto ETFs have also received in-principle approval from the SFC, the firm said in a statement. It added that the two ETFs will be issued in collaboration with OSL, which could effectively address issues such as excessively high margin requirements. “In this collaboration, OSL leverages its robust infrastructure to provide a secure trading environment essential for the ETF’s operation, managing the underlying assets with precision and reliability,” OSL said in a statement.

Bosera Asset Management, a Hong Kong unit of a major Chinese asset manager, and HashKey Capital also told The Block on Monday that the regulator has given conditional approval for two spot crypto ETFs jointly managed by the pair. The pair did not immediately clarify what “conditional approval” entails.

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Bosera and HashKey told The Block that the pair will work together to launch a spot bitcoin ETF, the Bosera HashKey Bitcoin
BTC +2.11%
ETF, and a spot ether ETF, the Bosera HashKey Ether ETF. The two ETFs are expected to allow investors to subscribe for ETF shares using bitcoin and ether directly. They did not disclose the timeline of the launch.

“The introduction of the Virtual Asset Spot ETFs not only provides investors with new asset allocation opportunities but also reinforces Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center and a hub for virtual assets,” Bosera said in a statement.

Unlike its neighboring Chinese mainland’s broader crackdown on cryptocurrency trading and mining, Hong Kong has rolled out the welcome mat for crypto firms last year. In June 2023, Hong Kong officially started its crypto licensing regime for crypto trading platforms, allowing licensed exchanges to offer retail trading services. Hong Kong has granted licenses to two platforms — HashKey and OSL.

Ether ETFs
Adrian Wang, chief executive officer of Asia-based digital asset management firm Metalpha, told The Block that the upcoming spot ether ETFs could gain much traction.

“I think ETF could be more influential and important compared to that of bitcoin, as investors have options to gain bitcoin exposure with bitcoin-related stocks like mining companies, but there are no ETH-related stocks as of now,” said Wang.

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“Hong Kong’s approval of the spot Ether ETFs comes ahead of a US decision, and is a significant milestone in Hong Kong’s journey to become a leading crypto hub,” said Angela Ang, a former regulator at the Monetary Authority of Singapore and senior policy advisor at blockchain intelligence firm TRM Labs. “With fewer alternatives for Ethereum exposure, we might see the Ether ETFs attract more investor interest.”

Source: theblock.co

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Digital Currency Initiative Launches in Taiwan by Collaborating with Prestigious University

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In an innovative effort to revolutionize digital financial education, a prominent digital currency provider has teamed up with a renowned university in Taiwan. This strategic collaboration aims to equip students with advanced knowledge and practical experience, preparing them for the future of finance.

Empowering Future Financial Professional

The partnership focuses on immersing students in the complex world of digital assets, blockchain technology, and cutting-edge financial instruments. Industry experts will offer invaluable insights and mentorship, enhancing students’ understanding and skills in this rapidly evolving field.

Curriculum Highlights:

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  • Blockchain Principles: Foundational knowledge of blockchain technology.
  • Critical Thinking: Developing analytical skills for problem-solving in digital finance.
  • Risk Assessment: Strategies for identifying and managing financial risks.
  • Legal Compliance: Understanding the regulatory landscape and compliance requirements.
  • Career Insights: Exploring potential career paths in the digital finance industry.

Commitment to Digital Economy Growth

This initiative underscores a commitment to fostering the digital economy’s growth by highlighting the stability of digital assets against traditional currencies. The newly introduced digital token combines traditional asset stability with blockchain security, offering a robust financial instrument for the future.

The digital currency provider has a long-standing history of promoting blockchain education and advocating for financial inclusivity. By facilitating cross-border transactions and investing in emerging markets, the organization continues to play a crucial role in shaping digital finance’s future.

Advancing Financial Literacy and Inclusivity

This collaborative effort represents a significant step towards democratizing financial literacy and empowering individuals worldwide to engage with the evolving digital currency landscape.

Additional Facts:

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  • Taiwan’s Blockchain Hub: Taiwan actively promotes itself as a hub for blockchain and digital currency innovation through various initiatives.
  • Research and Development: The partnership is expected to spur increased R&D activities in digital assets, benefiting both academia and industry.
  • Regulatory Exploration: Taiwan’s government is interested in exploring regulatory frameworks for digital currencies and blockchain technology, creating a supportive environment for such collaborations.

Key Questions Addressed

  1. Impact on Adoption: How will the collaboration between the digital currency provider and the university impact the adoption of digital currencies in Taiwan?
  2. Skills and Knowledge: What specific skills and knowledge will students gain from the curriculum focusing on blockchain technology and digital assets?
  3. Regulatory Compliance: How does the initiative address potential regulatory challenges and compliance issues in the digital currency space?

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages:

  • Enhanced Education: Offering students unique educational opportunities in digital finance and blockchain technology.
  • Industry-Academia Bridge: Providing hands-on experience and mentorship to bridge the gap between academia and industry.
  • Economic Growth: Contributing to the growth and development of the digital economy in Taiwan and beyond.

Disadvantages:

  • Curriculum Updates: Potential challenges in keeping the curriculum up-to-date with the rapidly evolving digital currency landscape.
  • Practical Exposure: Ensuring students receive practical, real-world experience to complement theoretical knowledge.
  • Regulatory Balance: Balancing the promotion of digital currencies with the need for regulatory compliance and risk management.

The collaboration between the digital currency provider and the Taiwanese university marks a significant milestone in digital financial education. By integrating industry expertise with academic rigor, this partnership aims to nurture the next generation of financial professionals and foster the growth of the digital economy.

Source: smartphonemagazine.com

The post Digital Currency Initiative Launches in Taiwan by Collaborating with Prestigious University appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Binance Appeals Against $4.3M Penalty Imposed by Canada Regulator

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In a recent court appeal, Binance argued that it does not specifically target Canadian customers, claiming its activity in Canada is merely a byproduct of its international operations, according to a June 19 report by the Canadian Press. The exchange revealed that although it had previously attempted to establish a Canadian presence, these plans were abandoned. By May 2023, Binance had fully exited the Canadian market, citing new regulations on stablecoins and investor restrictions that made continued operations unfeasible. Despite its departure, Binance acknowledged the sentimental value of Canada, being the home country of its founder.

In May, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) imposed a $4.3 million fine on Binance for non-compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorist financing rules. FINTRAC claimed that between June 2021 and July 2023, Binance failed to report over 5,000 transactions of $10,000 or more. Additionally, despite having multiple opportunities, Binance failed to register as a money services business within the deadlines set by the regulator.

Beyond its issues in Canada, Binance is facing a multitude of legal challenges globally. In April, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the exchange in Canada, accusing it of violating securities laws. The plaintiffs allege that Binance sold crypto derivative products to everyday investors without proper registration, breaching Ontario’s Securities Act and federal regulations. This lawsuit, representing tens of thousands of Canadian investors, seeks compensation and the reversal of unauthorized trades.

Globally, Binance has also faced significant financial penalties. In November, the exchange settled with US authorities, agreeing to a $4 billion fine for violations of anti-money laundering and sanctions laws. Similarly, the Indian Financial Intelligence Unit imposed a $2.24 million fine, the largest ever against a crypto entity in the country, for failing to comply with AML regulations.

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Binance’s regulatory and legal troubles illustrate the significant challenges faced by cryptocurrency exchanges operating across multiple jurisdictions. While the exchange continues to navigate these complexities, its ability to comply with global regulatory standards and address legal disputes will be critical to its long-term viability and reputation in the market.

Source: cryptonews.com

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Binance.US Dealt Another Blow: North Dakota Revokes License

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Following the lead of states like Florida, Alaska, Oregon, Maine, and North Carolina, North Dakota has moved to block Binance.US from regaining its money transmitter license. This decision by the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is grounded in a November 2023 guilty plea by Binance founder Changpeng Zhao on anti-money laundering charges, further questioning the exchange’s suitability for operation.

Protecting Public Interest

DFI Commissioner Lise Kruse emphasized the need to protect the public interest in her statement: “The Commissioner finds the Respondent does not continue to meet the qualifications or satisfy requirements that may apply to an applicant for a new money transmitter license.” This decision adds North Dakota to the growing list of states placing Binance.US in regulatory “penalty boxes.”

Global Troubles and US Regulatory Concerns

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The regulatory issues faced by Binance.US in the United States reflect broader global challenges. For instance, a recent regulatory conflict in Nigeria, which resulted in the detention of a Binance executive, raises additional concerns for US regulators, complicating Binance.US’s situation further.

Impact and Outlook for Binance.US

Currently, Binance.US is unable to onboard new users in several regions and is entirely inaccessible in over 10 states. The exchange has until July 17, 2024, to challenge North Dakota’s decision. However, the outlook remains uncertain, given the mounting restrictions and regulatory pressures.

The relatively short prison sentence for Zhao might suggest a potential course correction within Binance. By prioritizing user safety and adhering strictly to US regulations, Binance.US could potentially regain some lost ground. The exchange’s future hinges on its ability to address regulatory compliance issues effectively.

The Broader Implications

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This regulatory crackdown highlights the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency regulation. While the innovative potential of cryptocurrencies is significant, exchanges must operate within established regulatory frameworks to maintain trust and stability in the market. Binance.US’s struggle will be closely watched by the entire cryptocurrency industry, serving as a cautionary tale for exchanges that prioritize growth over compliance.

Source: bitcoinist.com

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