Australia Surpasses Asia in Crypto ATM Installations

Australia has become a leading country in the adoption of cryptocurrencies, with a growing number of businesses and individuals recognizing the benefits of using digital assets for daily transactions. According to Coin ATM Radar, Australia has surpassed Asia in the total number of crypto ATMs installed, with 364 machines as of January 2023. This represents a significant increase since the beginning of the year, with the country climbing from fifth to third place in January alone.

Over the last eight months, Australia has consistently added Bitcoin ATMs, unlike leading European nations and the United States, which reported a reduction in ATM installations during the same period. This suggests that Australia is on a crypto ATM installation spree, reflecting the growing demand for fiat-to-crypto conversions in the country.

In contrast, Asia, which includes major economies such as China, Japan, Singapore, and India, hosts only 355 crypto machines, representing only 1% of the total crypto ATMs installed worldwide. Despite the vast population and economic power of these countries, Australia has managed to outpace them in the installation of crypto ATMs.

The increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies in Australia is not limited to the installation of crypto ATMs. Leaked internal documents from Australia’s Department of the Treasury reveal that the country is also considering the introduction of crypto legislation. This would provide a regulatory framework for the crypto industry, helping to legitimize and foster its growth.

Although the final submissions to the cabinet will reportedly come later in the year, it is clear that crypto legislation is on the horizon in Australia. This would bring the country in line with other leading crypto-friendly nations, such as Switzerland and Malta, which have established themselves as global hubs for crypto innovation and adoption.

In conclusion, Australia’s growing number of crypto ATM installations and its consideration of crypto legislation demonstrate the country’s commitment to fostering the growth and adoption of cryptocurrencies. As the crypto industry continues to evolve and gain mainstream acceptance, Australia’s proactive approach positions it as a leader in the global crypto landscape.


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Asia Crucial to Web3 Gaming Industry

According to a recent report by DappRadar, Asia is a crucial region for the Web3 gaming industry, given its majority share of gamers and gaming revenue, as well as its high interest in blockchain technology. The report highlighted that the Asian market boasts over 1.7 billion video game players, accounting for 55% of the world’s total. In addition, Asia houses over half of the global gaming revenue and has long been “the driving force” behind the global gaming industry.

DappRadar claims that due to these factors, the Asia region “plays a crucial role in the adoption of blockchain gaming.” However, while China, Japan, and South Korea dominate the gaming industry in Asia, they have varying attitudes towards blockchain technology.

China, for instance, has banned crypto and prohibits gaming companies from integrating blockchain technology into their games. On the other hand, gaming companies in Japan and South Korea are “leading the way in the adoption of blockchain technology in gaming,” the report says. It points to Sony’s recent NFT-related patents and gaming firm Sega’s announcement of its upcoming blockchain game as evidence of this trend.

A survey of 1,030 Japanese men and women ranging in age from their 20s to 70s cited in the report revealed a promising outlook for the Japanese blockchain gaming industry. It revealed just over 40% of respondents were familiar with blockchain games, and over half of those familiar had a favorable impression of them.

The report also addressed the Web3 industry on a global scale, highlighting that “visual quality and game experience” are “slightly” more important factors for gamers when evaluating a new game over other aspects such as entry price, the number of active users, and game economies. The report also emphasized the significance of airdrops in motivating gamers to try out new games. It was stated that airdrops are considered “an essential factor,” with gamers still expecting to receive them before starting a new game.

It is clear that Asia will play a crucial role in the adoption of blockchain gaming in the coming years. While China’s attitude towards blockchain technology remains unclear, Japan and South Korea have already begun leading the way in adopting blockchain technology in gaming. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, it is likely that blockchain technology will become an increasingly important factor for gamers and game developers alike.


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Gemini co-founder: Crypto’s next bull run will start in Asia

Cameron Winklevoss, an American investor and co-founder of the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, predicts that Asia will be the beginning of the next bull run for cryptocurrencies.

His remarks came at a time when authorities in the United States, particularly the Securities and Exchange Commission, were ramping up their enforcement actions and threatening to clamp down even more.

In a tweet he sent on February 19, Winklevoss said, “My working thesis at the moment is that the next bull run is going to start in the East.”

“It will serve as a sobering reminder that crypto is a global asset class, and that the West, and more specifically the United States, has always had only only had two options: embrace it, or be left behind,”

“There is no way to stop it. That is a fact,” he went on to say.

Chainalysis found that the cryptocurrency market in Central and Southern Asia and Oceania (CSAO) was the third biggest market in its index for 2022. Between July 2021 and June 2022, residents of these regions were compensated with a total value of $932 billion worth of bitcoin.

CSAO was also home to seven of the top 20 nations in 2022’s index, including Vietnam (which ranked first), the Philippines (which ranked second), India (which ranked fourth), Pakistan (which ranked sixth), Thailand (which ranked eighth), Nepal (which ranked sixteen), and Indonesia (20).

In a thread on his Twitter account, Winklevoss stated that governments that fail to offer clear rules and sincere guidance on cryptocurrencies will be “left in the dust” and will miss out on “the greatest period of growth since the rise of the commercial Internet.” He also stated that these governments will also miss out on the opportunity to shape and be a foundational part of the future financial infrastructure of this world (and beyond).

Winklevoss is not the first person to argue that the United States’ attitude to cryptocurrencies would drive away the business, nor will he be the last person to claim that Asia may kick off the next cryptocurrency boom cycle.

According to Brian Armstrong, CEO and co-founder of Coinbase, the strict measures of U.S. authorities, notably the SEC, might further push cryptocurrency firms abroad.

In the meantime, a free market analyst on Twitter known as GCR has predicted that “China, (and Asia in general) will fuel the next run” in a post that they made on January 8 to their 147,300 followers. GCR’s tweet read: “China, (and Asia in general) will fuel the next run.”

“It will take quite some time to melt the cynicism that Westerners have toward this space, but the East is ascending and yearning to flex their muscles.”

In October of last year, Arthur Hayes, a former CEO of the crypto derivatives giant BitMEX, made a prediction that the next bull run will begin when China moves back into the market. He went one step further and said that Hong Kong has a vital part to play in this process. His prediction was that the next bull run will begin when China moves back into the market.

Hayes argued that Hong Kong could become the proving ground for Beijing to experiment with cryptocurrency markets and act as a hub for Chinese capital to find its way into global cryptocurrency markets. Hong Kong is already acting as a testing ground for Beijing to experiment with traditional markets.

During that time, he made the statement that “China has not abandoned crypto; it has merely remained inactive.”

At the beginning of this year, Paul Chan, Hong Kong’s financial secretary, gave a speech on January 9 at the POW’ER Hong Kong Web3 Innovators Summit. In his speech, he revealed that Hong Kong’s lawmakers had passed legislation in December to set up a licensing system for virtual asset service providers.

As a direct result of the modifications to the legislation, a narrative known as the “Chinese Coins Pump” has been gaining traction. This narrative has been gaining traction as speculation grows over whether the regulatory easements in Hong Kong will lead to a massive surge for utility tokens of Asian-focused exchanges.


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Chinese corporations offer metaverse World Cup viewings, X2Y2 backtracks on royalties, and more.

People have said that a lot of technology companies in China are working on making it possible for Chinese soccer fans to watch the FIFA World Cup in the metaverse.

These initiatives are part of a five-year plan that the Chinese government unveiled at the beginning of November with the intention of enhancing the capabilities of and fostering the growth of the local virtual reality (VR) sector.
According to a report from the state-run media outlet Global Times that was published on November 20, the video streaming platform Migu is one of six Chinese companies that have secured the rights to show the World Cup. Migu plans to create a “Metaverse-like” space that will allow users to watch a livestream of the game while wearing virtual reality headsets.
ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok and its Chinese version, Douyin, has been granted the licencing rights to air the competition. ByteDance’s VR headset subsidiary, Pico, will be offering live broadcasts of the World Cup, and users will have the ability to create and congregate in “digital rooms” to watch the game together.
It looks like China’s virtual reality (VR) business, which is still new, is using the World Cup to test out the technology.
On November 1, an ambitious industrial strategy was pushed by the nation’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, together with four other agencies in the country.
Even though China’s five-year plan for 2022–2026 says it wants to improve its virtual reality (VR) industry and ship more than 25 million units worth $48.56 billion, the plan doesn’t say if this goal is for each year or for the whole plan.
The plans don’t say anything about whether or not the metaverse would use blockchain technology, like the city of Wuhan’s proposal, which was later changed to remove any mention of non-fungible coins (NFTs).
X2Y2 reduces the amount of the optional royalties. NFT marketplace X2Y2 has recanted its opt-in royalties policy and said in a Twitter thread dated November 18 that it would once again impose creator royalties on all current and future collections.
In August, the marketplace was one of the first to implement alternative royalties. At that time, it transitioned to a system known as “flexible royalty,” which enables purchasers to choose the amount of the royalty that they would pay.
The NFT community responded to it in a variety of different ways.


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Indonesia Plans to Strengthen Security for Crypto Investments

Indonesia plans to improve security for cryptocurrency investments in the country.

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The Financial Service Authority (OJK) of Indonesia will oversee the regulation, supervision and oversight of crypto investments to improve protection for investors, the Southeast Asian country’s minister said on Thursday.

The cryptocurrency sector in Indonesia is currently under the joint supervision of the Trade Ministry and the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati put forward the new plan to improve security as part of financial sector legislation that is being debated in parliament.

Cryptocurrency in Southeast Asia’s largest economy has witnessed a boom in crypto investments, but using such assets as means of payment is illegal in Indonesia. However, cryptocurrency transactions for investment purposes are allowed in the commodities market.

According to Sri Mulyani, there were 15.1 million cryptocurrency investors in the country as of June. The number is a massive rise from just 4 million in 2020.

Sri Mulyani told a parliamentary hearing, “we need to build a mechanism of supervision and investor protection that is quite strong and reliable, especially for investment instruments that are high risk.”

She added that the new bill would empower OJK to regulate and supervise “digital asset activities, including crypto assets and financial sector technology innovation.”

Indonesia also announced in late Sept about new rules for crypto asset exchanges.

The South Asian country’s trade ministry is planning to issue new rules to govern crypto exchanges that will require two-thirds of the board of directors and commissioners to be Indonesian citizens and live in Indonesia, a deputy minister said Tuesday.

This change has come about due to the financial issues faced by cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex as it has currently stopped users from withdrawing funds.

“We don’t want to give permits (to exchanges) carelessly, so only for those that meet the requirements and are credible,” deputy trade minister Jerry Sambuaga told reporters after a parliamentary hearing.

Sambuaga added that the ministry’s Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (Bappebti) would issue the new rule soon.

However, a timeframe has not been provided.

According to a document issued by the ministry, the new rule will require will also require an exchange to use a third party to store client funds and prohibit exchanges from re-investing stored crypto assets.

Didid Noordiatmoko, acting head at Bappebti, told the parliamentary hearing that ensuring two-thirds of the board were Indonesians based in the country “could prevent the top management running away when a problem hits the exchange.”

The country’s performance in terms of crypto transaction taxes has also improved.

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.

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

Image source: Shutterstock


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HashKey Group Secures Licenses from Regulator to Operate Virtual Asset Trading Platform

Hong Kong-based digital assets company Hash Blockchain Limited (HBL), a member of the HashKey Group, announced to secure regulatory approval from the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SEC) to operate a virtual asset trading platform.

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HashKey said the company now has received a Type 1 (dealing in securities) and a Type 7 (providing automated trading services) license, allowing them to provide automated trading services for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether, and stablecoins, security tokens, according to the statement.

Michel Lee, Executive President of HashKey Group, said he is delighted to receive the licenses, given the backdrop of this positive announcement. 

“This enables us to provide regulated and compliant virtual asset trading services as we continue to help build the financial, technological and service infrastructure to facilitate and contribute to the rapid growth and the long-term development of the ecosystem.”

“Our objective is to build a platform that is best in class in terms of technology, security and trading experience for our clients,” Colin Zhong, CEO of HBL, also welcomed the latest regulatory approval from the authority, adding that “One of the focuses of HashKey’s virtual asset exchange will be on the tokenisation of non-traditional assets, leveraging the robust ecosystem HashKey has developed over the years. 

The latest approval enables Hashkey group to get the green light not just to operate in Hong Kong but also from Japan and Singapore conditionally, which comes after another Hong Kong-based virtual assets platform OSL Exchange licensed virtual asset trading platforms in the city.

Recently, the HKSAR government published a policy statement supporting the city to develop virtual assets under a supervised regime, including the issuance of tokenised green bonds and the preparation of developing the digital Hong Kong Dollar. The administration’s move is considered to catch up with regional competitors like Singapore.

Image source: HashKey Group


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Hong Kong, Singapore Sees Diverging Approaches to Retail Crypto Trading

Hong Kong is planning to shift to a friendlier approach towards cryptocurrencies starting next year, according to a Bloomberg report, while neighbouring Singapore is planning to impose fresh restrictions on consumers.


People familiar with the matter, who asked to remain anonymous, told Bloomberg that the information is not public yet. Still, Hong Kong has a planned mandatory licensing program for crypto platforms that are set to be enforced in March next year, which will allow retail trading.

They added that further details and program timetable are yet to be decided as public consultation must be done first.

Hong Kong is not planning to endorse specific coins such as Bitcoin or Ether. However, regulators are planning to allow listings of bigger tokens and even legalize crypto trading for retail customers, according to Bloomberg.

This move indicates a positive regulatory measure for cryptocurrencies, which contrasts with the city’s sceptical stance in recent years.

The city plans to reveal more about the details of the recently stated goal of creating a top crypto hub next week during the annual Fintech Week conference, which starts on Monday.

Hong Kong is shifting to a friendlier approach towards crypto as the city aims to regain its credentials as one of the top financial centres after a recent year of political instability and the COVID-19 pandemic led to the outward migration of talent.

The people familiar with the matter added that crypto regulators would likely demand criteria for listing tokens on retail exchanges, such as a company’s market value, liquidity and membership in third-party crypto indexes.

While other economies are starting to open up to cryptocurrencies, Singapore has said it is unwilling to change its regulations. Instead, it is strengthening restrictions on retail crypto trade.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Wednesday unveiled a proposal to restrict retail participation in digital assets. Following this, small investors will be banned from funding coin purchases through borrowing.

Singapore’s central bank chief Ravi Menon told Bloomberg that the city-state would not stand in the way of other financial centres looking to draw retail crypto trading away with more relaxed rules.

“We don’t set ourselves out to compete with other jurisdictions, especially on regulation,” said Menon, the managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. “We have to do what is right for us, what is necessary to contain the risks. And the risks primarily harm retail investors.”

Singapore’s central bank echoed sentiments similar to that of the MAS by asking companies to stop using tokens deposited by retail investors for lending or staking to generate yield. However, the restrictions proposed by the two regulatory bodies will not be applicable to high-net-worth investors.

These moves are being taken in Singapore to ensure positive growth of the crypto industry with security measures that will provide safety to investors.

According to the Bloomberg report, Menon said Singapore still wants to be a crypto hub, but one that promotes areas of digital assets with “use cases” and tokenization – the process of using blockchain technology to securitize various assets.

“We accept that cryptocurrencies have a place in the larger digital ecosystem because they are the tokens native to the blockchain that powers much of this activity,” he said. “They need to have an expression in the formal financial sector.”

Meanwhile, other economies in Asia, such as neighbouring Japan, have already begun to take a positive stand toward crypto. Japan has already started to open its economy to crypto by making it easier for companies to list tokens, which is in contrast to its previous conservative stance that was partially to blame for driving away crypto start-ups.

In early October, Japanese Prime Miniter Fumio Kishida announced that the government will take an active role in promoting Web3 services.

Kishida said Web3-related growth – including metaverse and NFT-related developments – is now part of the country’s growth strategy. He added that the government is keen on creating a society where new services can easily be created.

On October 3, the Prime Minister delivered a speech before Japan’s National Diet (Japan’s bicameral parliament) where he said the government’s investment in the country’s digital transformation already embraces the issuance of NFTs to local authorities using digital technology to solve challenges in their respective jurisdictions.

While in August, the Japanese government proposed a corporate-friendly crypto tax that would take effect in 2023. The prime minister’s plan of revamping the economy relies on spurring growth in Web3 firms as a key agenda.

Image source: Shutterstock


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92% High-Net-Worth Individuals in SG & HK Are Interested in Digital Assets: KPMG

To learn crypto perspectives from family offices (FOs) and high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in Singapore and Hong Kong, KPMG China and Aspen Digital conducted a study dubbed “Investing in Digital Assets” and discovered that growing interest among this group.

Per the report:

“Despite the volatility in the digital asset market in the past two years, FOs and HNWIs are keen to invest in the sector. The survey found that 92 percent of respondents were interested in digital assets, with 58 percent of FOs and HNWIs already investing and 34 percent planning to do so.”

The growing crypto interest among FOs and HNWIs in Singapore and Hong Kong was being driven by portfolio diversification and high return prospects. 

Confidence in digital assets was also being spurred by heightened participation by mainstream institutional investors. 

“Family offices and high-net-worth individuals in Hong Kong and Singapore have embraced this new asset class, with more than 90 percent of our survey respondents already investing in the space or planning to do so,” according to the study.

Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) dominated the group’s investment portfolio. Furthermore, growing interest in decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) was also noted. 

Direct equity investment emerged as the primary source of funding for crypto service providers. Matthew Lam, Aspen Digital’s head of research, pointed out:

“We have observed that family offices/HNWIs prefer direct equity investments, while crypto-focused venture capital firms favour equity plus token warrant approach to invest in digital asset service providers.”

Nevertheless, respondents cited inaccurate valuation and the changing global regulatory environment as the biggest hurdles to crypto investment. 

For instance, all virtual asset service providers (VASPs) in Hong Kong will be required to apply for an operational license by March 2024. Moreover, Singapore is also eyeing to broaden its crypto regulation scope. 

Meanwhile, Hong Kong recently showed its intention to legalize crypto trading after launching several legal initiatives related to emerging technologies in the cryptocurrency industry, Blockchain.News reported. 

Image source: Shutterstock


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Eastern Asia’s Crypto Market Growth Halts, China’s Crypto Transaction Volume Drops by 31% YoY

Chainalysis, a US blockchain analysis firm, released a new research study Thursday, showing that Eastern Asia is the fourth-largest cryptocurrency market, receiving $777.5 billion worth of crypto between July 2021 and June 2022.

This figure represents just under 13% of global transaction volume during that time period.

As a result, the study identified that Eastern Asia has lost ground to other regions this year. The region saw year-over-year transaction volume growth of just 4%, making it the region with the lowest crypto activity this year, according to the research. Last year, the region was ranked as the third biggest region by crypto transaction volume at this time.

Source: Chainalysis

The biggest reason for this loss is likely due to the decline in cryptocurrency activity in China, the largest market in the region. While the study identified that China saw its crypto transaction volume drop by 31% compared to the previous year-long period, neighbors like Japan more than doubled transaction volume. This is likely due to Chinese government crackdowns on crypto activity over the last year, the study revealed.

Besides the low cryptocurrency trading activities in the region, the data indicates that Eastern Asia has surprisingly low DeFi adoption. Over the year-long time period Chainalysis conducted this study, DeFi made up just 28% of transaction volume in Eastern Asia, less than all but one other region – Eastern Europe – as shown in the figure below.

The data shows that Japan’s crypto market has grown significantly over the year-long period studied, with on-chain transaction volume increasing 113.2% over the previous 12 months, compared to 72% for the next-closest country, South Korea, and 31.1% for China.

To explain Japan’s resilient crypto activities, one of the reasons is due to the relatively high embrace of DeFi. Despite having a smaller overall crypto market, Japan’s DeFi transaction volume is almost double the size of South Korea’s at $56.7 billion and close to China’s total of $67.6 billion, as indicated in the figure below. The research shows that decentralized exchange (DEX) trading may be eating into trading on centralized services, which have not witnessed similar growth.

As the data highlighted above, China has witnessed a huge decline in cryptocurrency activity, likely due to government crackdowns imposed last year. However, despite a 31.1% drop-off in transaction volume, China remains the biggest crypto market in the region, the fourth overall in the world, and ranked tenth for grassroots adoption on Chainalysis’ global crypto adoption index.

While government crackdowns have had a clear impact, China’s cryptocurrency market remains strong, with healthy transaction volumes across both centralized and DeFi services. The figure below shows that China’s trading activity has started to pick back up in recent months, and even mining, which saw a massive fall in activity following the ban, has made a comeback in the country.

Early this month, Chainalysis released a similar study showing that emerging markets, such as the region of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), dominated this year’s global crypto adoption index. Latin America became the second in transaction volume growth, North America was third, and Central and Southern Asia close behind.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Crypto Bank Anchorage Digital To Make Entry into Asia

Anchorage Digital is making an entry into Asia with five new partnerships in the region.

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The institutional crypto platform has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub, asset management firm Dream Trade, blockchain investment firm FBG Capital, venture firm IOSG Ventures and digital assets financial services provider Antalpha.

The company has previously partnered with internet infrastructure provider Trust Company in Asia.

Anchorage has a record of becoming the first crypto bank to receive a federal charter in the US after its establishment in 2017. Diogo Mónica – Anchorage’s co-founder and president – told The Block that this is the highest order charter that banks can get in the US.

He added that obtaining a charter isn’t all sunshine and paradise. Instead, it is also a burden as it requires a level of transparency and maturity to meet the charter’s requirements.

The company said several Asian clients have selected Anchorage because of its strong regulatory status in the US.

“We appreciate Anchorage’s attention to regulatory compliance and vetting of the digital assets they support,” said Will Chiu, Antalpha’s chief investment officer, in a statement. 

“Through their combination of crypto-native fluency and understanding of traditional finance needs, they continue to support us in expanding the adoption of digital assets,” he added.

The company’s business model involves providing institutions with integrated financial services and infrastructure solutions. They could include solutions such as custody, staking and trading services.

Recently, the startup successfully raised $350 million in a Series D funding round led by investment firm KKR. Other participants included traditional players such as Goldman Sachs and Thoma Bravo, along with crypto-native firms such as Alameda Research and Blockchain Capital.

“We work with institutions and what we see is that institutions have very long-term horizons; they are not stopping these partnerships,” Mónica said. 

In another major development, Anchorage will become the preferred custodian for buzzy new layer one blockchain Aptos.

In a recent interview with CoinDesk, Mónica said, “by partnering with Aptos, we are actually helping make sure that the next generation of layer 1 blockchains are taking these proper [security] considerations, and that will only spur future growth in the industry.” 

Image source: Shutterstock


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