Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the industry’s most important developments.
$500B firm partners with Polygon
South Korea’s Mirae Asset Security Token Working Group, with over $500 billion in assets under management (AUM), is collaborating with Ethereum layer-two scaling solution Polygon (MATIC) for security tokenization initiatives.
According to a Sept. 7 press release, Mirae Asset Securities has signed a memorandum of understanding with Polygon Labs for “helping domestic and international tokenized securities networks.”
“Mirae’s foray into tokenization will undoubtedly help accelerate the mass adoption of web3 among other financial institutions,” commented Polygon Labs’ executive chairman Sandeep Nailwal.
Meanwhile, Ahn In-sung, head of the digital division at Mirae Asset Securities, wrote: “Through technical collaboration with Polygon Labs, Mirae Asset Securities aims to establish global leadership in the field of tokenized securities.”
Previously, Polygon Labs partnered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and key financial institutions in its Project Garden asset tokenization initiative. Last November, Project Guardian executed foreign exchange and sovereign bond transactions via Polygon.
Tencent launches the largest LLM model ever
Tencent’s new Hunyuan Large Language Model (LLM) has over 2 trillion parameters. Previously, the largest LLMs have contained upwards of 175 billion training data parameters.
During the Chinese IT conglomerate’s Global Digital Ecology Conference on Sept. 7, Tencent unveiled its Hunyuan AI competitor to ChatGPT which is now available through Tencent Cloud. Users are able to directly connect their software APIs to Hunyuan, or use it as a basis for a variety of applications in mechatronics, customer service and enterprise operations.
Tencent claims that Hunyuan is capable of processing “tens of trillions” of data per day and can reduce risk analysis procedures in automobile manufacturing from four hours to less than 30 minutes. The company has invested a combined $31.4 billion into cloud and AI research and development within the past five years. The firm wrote:
“In response to the problem that large models are prone to ‘babbling nonsense,’ Tencent has optimized the pre-training algorithm and strategy, reducing the illusion of the mixed-element large model by 30% to 50% compared with mainstream open source large models.”
Coinbase introduces stricter KYC measures for Singaporean customers
Singaporean clients of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase must now provide know-your-customer information (KYC) when sending crypto to addresses other than Coinbase.
In accordance with MAS regulations, Coinbase’s Singaporean customers will need to provide info on recipients’ wallet type, counterparty exchange name, full name and country of residence when sending crypto off the exchange. In addition, users who receive external crypto on Coinbase will need to provide similar KYC information on the sender in order to access their deposits.
The new KYC checks will not affect transfers between Coinbase accounts. MAS’ anti-money laundering requirements for digital asset transactions took effect in January 2020 and were last revised in March 2022. It’s not immediately clear as to why the exchange only implemented the regulations just now.
Shangdong Province’s Metaverse KPIs
Government officials in China’s Shangdong Province have set key performance indicators (KPIs) for local bureaucrats to expand the province’s metaverse industry to 15 billion Yuan ($2.05 billion) by 2025, or for a cyclically adjusted growth rate of 15% per annum. In addition, the KPIs include the incubation of 100 metaverse ecosystem projects, 3,000 metaverse-related patents, and at least 30 metaverse experiences at public service centers. The Shangdong People’s Government wrote:
“[It is necessary to] build a Shandong cultural dedicated network, Shandong cultural big data center and cultural database to form a cultural tourism metaverse big data system. Focus on cultural tourism resources such as A-level tourist attractions, cultural centers, libraries, and museums, and develop a number of immersive tourism service products such as VR [Virtual Reality] cloud tours.”
80 Chinese crypto influencer accounts banned
Sina Weibo, one of China’s largest social media platforms with over 580 million monthly active users, has banned 80 Chinese crypto influencer accounts with a combined follower count of over 8 million.
According to a Sept. 5 announcement, the accounts were banned due to “promotion of crypto trading activities” in accordance with eight legislations that together form China’s “Crypto Ban,” which has been in force since August 2021. One user commented:
“Even more [crypto] groups have been removed. A large part of those who were with me six years ago have now removed as well. Those who have not been removed have also been greatly restricted. Please go and promote them on Twitter. Weibo is no longer a good environment.
Though the Crypto Ban has been in effect for some time, China has only taken a harsh stance on enforcement starting this year. It has resulted in the removal of criminal enterprises, legitimate projects, and caused collateral damages to foreign investors alike.
$83M crypto scam group busted in South Korea
South Korean police have busted a 110 billion Won ($83 million) crypto scam.
Authorities say that on Sept. 5, 22 individuals were arrested on charges of deception and fraud. The unnamed group, accused of orchestrating a Ponzi scheme, allegedly solicited $83 million from 6,610 individuals based on promises of investment returns in the crypto markets as high as 300%.
An investigation subsequently revealed that business entities created by the group advocating token listings and entry into digital asset exchanges were falsified. Local news reported that assets linked to the unnamed group have been seized in criminal proceedings. A police official wrote:
“We will strictly respond to various financial crimes that infringe upon the people’s livelihood by exploiting the desperate psychology of ordinary people who want to improve economic conditions and the virtual asset investment craze.”
OKX in final stages of licensing in Hong Kong
According to local news reports on Sept. 3, cryptocurrency exchange OKX is in the advanced stages of receiving its virtual asset provider license from Hong Kong regulators. Zhikai Lai, the firm’s CCO, said that he expects OKX to receive the regulatory license by June 2024 and hopes to attract anywhere between 100,000 to 200,000 retail Hong Kong crypto investors within the first year. The executive noted:
“Banks have held a conservative attitude towards the virtual currency industry for many years. It was not until the government promoted Hong Kong as a global virtual asset center last year, and the Securities and Future Commission and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority gave a clear message that banks were required to prepare resources to focus on the industry. After that, their attitude became positive.”
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