Our weekly roundup of East Asia news features a selection of the most important developments in the industry.
JPEX scandal exceeds $166 million
Last week’s Token2049 conference in Singapore was a life-changing experience for some; for others, the event fell short of expectations, but for a select group, the prospect of being hunted by law enforcement meant they were not allowed to Not abandoning the stall and running away from the event.
On September 21, local news outlets reported that Hong Kong police arrested 11 people associated with troubled cryptocurrency exchange JPEX on charges of fraud and operating an unlicensed virtual asset exchange. It is estimated that more than 2,000 users were affected, involving a total of HK$1.3 billion (US$166 million). Police said the user’s assets had been misappropriated by JPEX staff.
In a dramatic raid on September 13, the first day of the conference, Hong Kong police arrested key JPEX executives, causing employees to abandon the company’s booth. The exchange subsequently applied to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for voluntary deregistration and revealed that its Australian entity had few assets left. After the news broke, JPEX reportedly increased the withdrawal fee per transaction to 999 USDT to prevent capital flight.
JPEX said in an announcement on September 20 that Tether (USDT) user deposits worth $400 million will be eligible for redemption. However, the problem is that these funds can only be redeemed from the end of 2025. The company said its telecommunications service provider and asset custodian have frozen applicable services due to the ongoing law enforcement investigation.
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said at a press conference, “This incident highlights the importance of investing in a licensed platform when investors want to invest in virtual assets.” JPEX was established in 2019 through a local subway station It hung brand banners on cars and taxis and enlisted the help of celebrities such as singer Julian Cheung to vigorously promote its influence in Hong Kong.
Prior to its collapse, JPEX’s marketing included offering free coupons to any registered user, offering trading leverage of up to 300x, and stablecoin staking yields exceeding 30% annually. The company has since suspended all services, despite previous assurances that it “will not go out of business.”
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Mt. Gox fiduciary creditors under control?
On September 21, users of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox suffered another setback when the bankruptcy trustee announced that the payment deadline would be postponed for another year. If implemented, this would mean the bankruptcy proceedings would last 10 years, if not longer, since a devastating hack took down the exchange in 2014.
In April, Mt. Gox set a deadline for creditors to file claims against the defunct cryptocurrency exchange. The target date for user asset repayment was subsequently determined to be October 2023. The registration process has been regularly extended for several years. Despite previous assurances, Mt. Gox’s trustees wrote:
“Given the time required for restructuring creditors to provide the necessary information, and the time required for the restructuring trustee to confirm such information and discuss and share the information with banks, fund transfer service providers and designated cryptocurrency exchanges involved in repayment, etc. time, and if these conditions need to be met prior to repayment, the Rehabilitation Trustee will not be able to complete said repayment by the deadline.”
Mt. Gox, the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, filed for bankruptcy in 2014 after discovering that 850,000 Bitcoin (BTC) from its customers had been stolen through years of clever theft. The exchange has since recovered approximately 200,000 BTC. The funds are held in escrow by creditors, with 162,106 BTC ($4.38 billion) held in wallet addresses tracked by Token Unlock. At the time of the hack, the price of Bitcoin was approximately $580 per coin, meaning that many creditors were able to realize gains on their investments despite more than half of their Bitcoins being stolen.
Registered creditors could receive payments as soon as the end of this year, the trustee said in communications with creditors. However, as has been the case for the past decade, a caveat is included (as always):
“Please note that the schedule is subject to change based on circumstances and the exact timing of repayments to each restructuring creditor has not yet been determined.”
Singapore fintech raises US$10 million
Singaporean company DCS Fintech Holdings has received a $10 million investment from Foresight Ventures to create a crypto-fiat onboarding solution.
According to an announcement on September 21, DCS (originally standing for “Diners Club Singapore”), the city-state’s first credit card issuer, will use the funds to develop “new payment solutions, delivered between Web2 and seamless connection”. Web3”. Its subsidiary DCS Card Center is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and is responsible for issuing credit cards. CEO Karen Low commented:
“Today’s rapid growth in Web3 requires bridging payments to Web2, while the rise of fintech is democratizing payments for consumers, creating demand for more variety and refreshing experiences. DCS is ready to seize These opportunities.”
As part of DCS’s first foray into Web3, it developed a Singapore dollar-backed payment token, also known as “DCS”, for use in the financial services industry.
Foresight Ventures, also based in Singapore, is a US$400 million fund investing in Web3, artificial intelligence and blockchain-related entities. In May, the company committed an additional $10 million to its Web3 accelerator, bringing the total to $20 million. The company is also backing the $120 million Sei Ecosystem Fund.
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