Correlation Between Performance of Equity Markets and Crypto Assets in Asia Increased: the IMF

The correlation between the performance of Asia’s equity markets and crypto assets has increased as investors from that region piled into crypto in recent years, according to a blog from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


The IMF said that the returns and volatility correlations between Bitcoin and Asian equity markets have increased significantly since 2020, before the pandemic.

Currently, in Asia, the return correlations of Bitcoin and Indian stock markets have increased by 10-fold over the pandemic. This signifies limited risk diversification benefits of crypto, according to the IMF.

Risk sentiment among the crypto and equity markets could see a possible rise as the volatility correlations have increased by 3-fold.

“Crypto trading, however, soared as millions stayed home and received government aid, while low-interest rates and easy financing conditions also played a role,” the IMF said.

According to the IMF, the inclusion of the growing acceptance of crypto-related platforms and investment vehicles in the stock market and the over-the-counter market could be the possible factors that have led to an increased interconnectedness of crypto and equity markets in Asia.

The IMF stated that their research showed that the rise in crypto-equity correlations in Asia also led to a sharp increase in crypto-equity volatility spillovers in India, Vietnam and Thailand.

Following the spread of crypto globally, authorities in Asia have turned increasingly sensitive and alert to the growing risks posed by this phenomenon.

To do so, authorities have increased focus on crypto regulation, and the building regulatory framework is under construction, including in those countries mentioned above.

“A significant effort is also needed to address important data gaps that still prevent domestic and international regulators from fully understanding ownership and use of crypto and its intersection with the traditional financial sector,” the IMF said.

The IMF backs the idea of clear guidelines on regulated financial institutions and seeks to inform and protect retail investors.

“Regulatory frameworks for crypto in Asia should be tailored to the main uses of such assets within the countries,” the IMF said.

The IMF also added that crypto regulation should be closely coordinated across jurisdictions to be powerfully effective.

The total market value of the world’s crypto assets in December was $3 trillion – a surge of 20-fold in just a year and a half. However, it then plunged to less than $1 trillion in June as central bank interest rate increases to contain inflation ended easy access to cheap borrowing.

The IMF has also warned nations to desist from adopting Bitcoin as their legal tender against central bank-issued money.

According to a May 9 report from Blockchain.News, the IMF has stated that crypto assets are an anti-establishment movement threatening the power of central banks and their monopoly control of the money supply. The global financial body warned of large risks associated with Bitcoin use on consumer protection, financial stability, and financial integrity.

Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF Managing Director, has said that it is not advisable for countries to embrace cryptocurrency as money in the economy.

However, Georgieva has identified the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) as the best innovation for a country’s financial system. “The future of money is a central topic at the IMF’s Spring Meetings,” the executive stated as she warned that using volatile crypto coins as money is not advisable.

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BTC’s Average Transaction Fee Drops below $1 for the First Time within 2 Years

The average transaction fee for Bitcoin (BTC) fell below $1 due to falling market prices and lower mining difficulty.

Data shows that on August 22, the average Bitcoin transaction fee fell to $0.825. This is the first time to fall below $1 in more than two years.

The Bitcoin ecosystem has also suffered from quite high transaction fees in the past, jumping further over $60 in 2021, such a high fee.


Typically, when the usage of the Bitcoin network is high, transaction fees go up. Transactions compete for limited space in Bitcoin blocks. This leads to competition for transaction fees as users race to get their transactions included in the next block.

However, the difficulty of mining new BTC blocks is steadily decreasing as miners recover from a chronic shortage of chips and gain access to cheaper hardware.

This has also become a major contributor to the reduction of transaction fees.

At the same time, the slump in cryptocurrency has also led to a decrease in the number of mining people.

The member pool is much looser than before, and all valid transactions have to wait for the confirmation of the Bitcoin network. If the pool of members keeps getting crowded, then fees will keep going up as people primarily want confirmation over others and vice versa.

Many investors and consumers have opted out of the cryptocurrency market as traders, investors and consumers take a wait-and-see approach to the long-term outlook after Bitcoin’s devaluation.

Bitcoin has fallen more than 60% from its high of $69,000 last year. At the time of writing, the benchmark cryptocurrency was trading at $21,106, according to CoinMarketCap data.

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Australia Announces ‘Token Swap’ Campaign to Accelerate Crypto Regulation

Australian federal government will implement a “token mapping” exercise to inform future regulation of the country’s crypto assets, laying the groundwork for “determining how crypto assets and related services should be regulated,” according to Bloomberg.

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the government would prioritize the implementation of the “token swap” campaign by the end of this year, which aims to study Australia’s regulatory and licensing framework for handling and operating cryptocurrency-related assets and review the custody of third-party custodians of crypto assets, obligations and corresponding consumer protection measures.

Jim Chalmers said:

“With the increasingly widespread proliferation of crypto assets — to the extent that crypto advertisements can be seen plastered all over big sporting events — we need to make sure customers engaging with crypto are adequately informed and protected.”

The campaign was brought up by the Senate last year, where Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s administration said it wanted to rein in the “basically unregulated” crypto space:

Australia is considered an important financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region, and regulatory uncertainty is likely to cause many outstanding blockchain-related companies to choose to withdraw from the Australian market

Caroline Bowler, CEO of BTC Markets, commented that:

“The additional benefits of token mapping are many. It will provide greater clarity to crypto investors; aid companies in developing their own blockchain-based innovations; provide guidance to digital currency exchanges; as well as assist regulators in shaping an appropriate regulatory regime.”

In March, the government announced plans to introduce legislation seeking licensing and custody measures for the country’s growing digital asset industry. The government has also announced potential changes to taxing this emerging asset class.

In November, Australian banking giant Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) became the first major Australian bank to allow customers to buy, sell and hold crypto assets.

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Indonesia Rakes in Approximately $6.8m Monthly from Fintech & Crypto Transaction Taxes

Since the rollout of fintech and crypto transaction taxes in May, Indonesia has amassed nearly $6.8 million, according to the nation’s tax compliance special staffer Yon Arsal.

During a recent retail conference, Arsal expressed his optimism that the figure would surge because the taxation was at the initial stages. 

The Indonesian finance ministry imposed a value-added tax (VAT) of 0.1% on crypto-assets purchases on May 1 this year. 

The Indonesian administration decided to tax crypto transactions based on surging popularity among local investors. 

Furthermore, crypto interest on Indonesian soil has skyrocketed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of crypto owners stood at 11 million in 2021. 

Per the report:

“According to the Indonesia’s Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency, the total electronic asset transactions reached 59.8 billion USD in 2021, up 10 times from 2020.”

As the biggest economy in Southeast Asia, Indonesia took the crypto tax route to shore up state revenues in the post-pandemic era. 

Hestu Yoga Saksama, the tax office spokesperson, had previously noted

“Crypto-assets will be subject to VAT because they are a commodity as defined by the trade ministry. They are not a currency. So, we will impose income tax and VAT.”

Meanwhile, Fasset Technologies, a digital asset and fintech startup, recently partnered with payments giant Mastercard to drive financial inclusion in Indonesia.

With the world changing at an unprecedented rate, Fasset intended to offer its custom technologies to digitize banking services for Indonesians, Blockchain.News reported. 

On the other hand, Bank Indonesia is evaluating the influence of central bank digital currency (CBDC) on the local economy to facilitate financial system efficiencies and inclusion. 

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Hackers Steal Cryptos from General Bytes Bitcoin ATM via Zero-day Bug

General Bytes, the world’s top three manufactuer of cryptocurrency ATMs, has confirmed that its ATMs have been hacked using a zero-day vulnerability in server ports to steal cryptocurrencies from customers.

General Bytes operates over 8,000 Bitcoin ATMs in more than 120 countries and regions to allow people to buy or sell over 40 different cryptocurrencies.

The company claimed that hackers captured a zero-day vulnerability in the company’s crypto application server (CAS), allowing remote operations to gain administrator privileges, thereby modifying the recipient wallet address and allowing customers to obtain stolen money when buying and selling cryptocurrencies.

A zero-day, also known as a “0-day”, is followed by various situations such as “vulnerability, exploit, or attack” alongside zero-day, which refers to a vulnerability exploited by hackers that has not yet been patched in the original code.

According to the version update notes released by General Bytes on the 18th, explained that:

“The attacker was able to create an admin user remotely via CAS administrative interface via a URL call on the page used for the default installation on the server and creating the first administration user.”

Hackers entered Digital Ocean’s cloud hosting server vulnerabilities by scanning TCP port 7777 or 433 on the network, creating a default administrator user named “gb” and adding it to the company’s own Crypto Applicate Server (CAS).

After that, the user can remotely tamper with the preset “buy”, “sell”, “invalid transaction address”, and other wallet positions on the ATM and wait for the trader to operate the ATM to transfer the cryptocurrency, which will then be transferred to the hacker wallet.

At present, the company has not disclosed the specific amount of stolen money and the number of stolen ATMs and patched server vulnerabilities promptly.

According to its security bulletin, the related vulnerability has been present in the CAS software since version 20201208.

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NFT Transactions Projected to Hit $40m by 2027 amid Metaverse Trend

Non-fungible token (NFT) transactions are expected to reach $40 million by 2027 as the metaverse trend continues to gain steam, according to a report by Juniper Research.

The study noted that a 66.6% growth would be recorded during the forecast period. Per the report:

“NFT transactions will rise from 24 million in 2022 to 40 million by 2027. This is based on our medium scenario for adoption, with brands leveraging the metaverse to boost digital growth.”

For consumer-centred businesses, the research pointed out that creating NFT-based content would give them a competitive advantage based on the changing needs of the younger and tech-savvy demographic.

Younger generation consumers are inclined to purchase novel digital and online content forms. Per the announcement:

“The report predicts metaverse-linked NFTs will be the fastest-growing NFT segment over the next 5 years, increasing from 600,000 transactions in 2022 to 9.8 million by 2027. It highlights the rising demand for immersive experiences as a driver of metaverse adoption.”

Despite NFTs offering a new growth channel, the research stated that vendors ought to be cautious not to operate in unregulated environments, which are home to scams and fraudulent activities. The report added:

“Vendors who partake in the NFT space may risk brand damage by association, due to the role NFTs have had in illegal activities, such as money laundering, scams, and fraud.”

For a conducive NFT operating environment, Juniper Research highlighted the need for regulators to collaborate with industry bodies to standardize processes with built-in consumer protections and reduced environmental impact. 

Since NFTs are digital assets whose ownership is blockchain-based, their worth is pegged on their uniqueness. Furthermore, their intrinsic value is founded on their limited supply because they must be bought as an entire token.

Meanwhile, crypto exchange KuCoin announced a $100 million “Creators Fund” to boost the Web3 ecosystem and propel early-stage NFT projects, Blockchain.News reported. 

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Big Crash Needed for Crypto to Go Mainstream, Says Kim Dotcom

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, has said that a “big crash” would help mainstream crypto assets as an everyday medium of exchange rather than encouraging speculative behaviour.

His comments last Friday followed a dramatic sell-off that occurred on Friday when major cryptocurrency plummeted their prices further.

Bitcoin price dropped almost 4% to $21,130 over the weekend, marking a three-week low, while the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world, Ether, plunged 9% to $1,640.

Kim, a self-proclaimed ‘Internet freedom fighter’, stated on Twitter, “The big crash is needed for crypto to go mainstream with utilization instead of speculation. That’s when you unchain from the oppressors, and freedom has the decentralized power to flourish.”

He also urged his 860,000 Twitter followers to purchase Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, mainly because he believed the U.S. dollar will become worthless and the economy would collapse.

Kim Dotcom further advised people to use cryptocurrency as everyday money. “Crypto is the future. Nothing can stop this revolution. Don’t HODL. Use crypto every day,” he tweeted.

Advocating for The Advancement of Crypto

This is not the first time Kim Dotcom talked about cryptocurrency. In September last year, he showed his love for Bitcoin Cash when he named his dog ‘BCH’ to honour his support for Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency.

Kim Dotcom is a well-known Internet entrepreneur and political activist who believes the crypto economy will continue to expand in value.

Dotcom is well known for being the former CEO of the now-defunct file hosting platform Megaupload. The U.S. government pulled down the site in 2012. Before the pulldown, Megaupload served 180,000,000 registered members.

Kim Dotcom is currently working on a content monetization application called KIM, which is seeking to democratize the benefits of cryptocurrency solutions and file hosting.

At the beginning of 2021, the KIM platform, which aims to monetize digital content, added the Bitcoin Cash blockchain to the platform. This addition came later after KIM integrated Bitcoin, Lightning Network, and Liquid Network on the platform.

In June, the 48-year-old German-Finnish Internet entrepreneur and political activist predicted a collapse of the global economy because the U.S. has massive national debts (currently $30 trillion), and the Federal Reserve prints more money to pay for things. This causes higher inflation and devalues the world reserve currency’s underlying currency.

Kim Dotcom hinted that crypto assets could be the answer.


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Bitcoin Mining is a ‘Net Plus’ for the Environment: US Senator Ted Cruz

United States Senator Ted Cruz has showered accolades on Bitcoin mining as a venture, taking a wildly divergent view from major critics who believe Bitcoin mining is damaging to the environment. 


According to Senator Cruz, Bitcoin mining is actually an advantage to the environment, explicitly calling it a “net plus” venture, especially if miners focus on utilizing renewable energy sources.

Cryptocurrency is a net plus for the environment. Being able to unlock a lot of renewables is important for the environment. Taking stranded natural gas and putting it to productive use is a big positive,” Cruz said, adding that “Bitcoin also is a room full of entrepreneurs, full of people that are providing for their families, and that prosperity is a net positive for the environment as well.” 

One of the other reasons why Ted Cruz believes Bitcoin mining is advantageous is its potential to be switched on and off the grid. Cruz highlighted that Bitcoin could share the grid with other forms of energy, a feature beneficial in a natural disaster. 

“Because of the ability to Bitcoin mining to turn on or off instantaneously, if you have a moment where you have a power shortage or a power crisis, whether it’s a freeze or some other natural disaster where power generation capacity goes down, that creates the capacity to instantaneously shift that energy to put it back on the grid,” he added. 

All over the world, regulators have often frowned against the perceived role of Bitcoin miners. The fears of environmental damage have made the Chinese government ban mining activities, while many other regions are restricting resources that can make miners less effective.

The argument for the status of miners in the US is still largely debatable. However, comments like the one from Senator Cruz can help polish the overall outlook for the sector positively.

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FTX Derivatives Exchange Revenue Tops $1B in 2021, Report said

The financial record of FTX Derivatives Exchange for the 2021 financial year has shown that the company’s revenue topped the $1 billion mark, according to leaked earnings documents seen by CNBC.


The trading platform, founded in 2019 by Sam Bankman-Fried, has grown amongst the ranks and now stands as one of the most positive cash flow exchanges.

According to the leaked documents, FTX’s revenue grew from $89 million to $1.02 billion in 2021, which stands at 1,000% growth. As revealed, the firm’s operating income was $272 million, up from $14 million in the year-ago period. The trading platform also saw a net income of $388 million last year, up from just $17 million a year earlier.

The growth recorded across the board reflected the boom the digital currency ecosystem recorded in 2021, with Bitcoin (BTC) attaining its all-time high (ATH) price above $69,000. 

FTX was well positioned for the impressive figures it recorded and has continued with the same momentum as last year. The company recorded $270 million in revenue in the first quarter of this year, and by projections, it is on track to earn as much as $1.1 billion this year. The emergence of the crypto winter in the second quarter did not really affect FTX but has rather positioned the trading platform as the lender of last resort.

With many established crypto firms going bankrupt following the collapse of Terra (LUNA), many have leaned on FTX for a bailout. The exchange has extended financial support to crypto lender BlockFi. While it also made a move in conjunction with Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research, Voyager Digital rejected its offer noting it was not in the best interest of all parties involved.

Besides its role as a lender of last resort, the performance of FTX was also bolstered by its many acquisitions spanning every aspect of the industry. With investors’ backing, FTX seeks to continually bolster its global footprint across the board.

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Rusk Media Raises $9.5m for Blockchain-Based UGC Gaming

Indian-based digital entertainment startup Rusk Media has pulled the sum of $9.5 million in a Series A extension funding round.


The startup revealed that the funding round enjoined participation from existing investors InfoEdge Ventures (IEV), Mistry Ventures, and Survam Partners participating in the round. The funding round was led by Seoul-based DAOL Investment and Audacity Ventures.

While not a traditional blockchain gaming startup, Rusk Media has plans to develop a user-generated content (UGC) social gaming platform using the new capital. Mega-firms like Roblox are currently popularizing the UGC gaming platform, and it has started gaining traction amongst children within the age group of 8–14-year-olds in the US and Southeast Asia.

With the Rusk Media proposed UGC social gaming platform, developers will be able to create games using freely available Rusk IP assets.

“With the behavioral shift of the digital native audiences – entertainment has transformed across 30-second snackable social videos, OTT shows, casual & AAA gaming. Our future plans are two-fold – firstly, scaling our content with OTT partners via our IPs in India and the rest of the world, with Playground leading the way for our expansion globally. Secondly, building a UGC-led social gaming platform that will enable game developers to create games and publish them on our platform using our game developer app that plans to leverage blockchain technology.”

Investors are particularly focused on the gaming aspect of blockchain technology as a way to onboard the next billion users in the long term. Rusk Media is tapping into a market currently dominated by the likes of Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, and Animoca Brands.

Rusk Media produces content streamed on social channels Alright! and Playground with over 500 million monthly views and shows on OTT Platforms. Drawing on its existing user base, Rusk Media hopes to make a hit on the market when it makes its grand entry into the space.

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 27,273.31 2.13%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,652.63 0.95%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 65.67 0.60%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 231.66 7.85%