Asia Express – Cointelegraph Magazine

Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the industry’s most important developments.

Hong Kong gaming firm to invest $100M in crypto

Boyaa Interactive International, a publicly-traded Hong Kong holding company specializing in online card and board games, wants to secure the approval of its shareholders to invest $100 million in crypto.

According to this week’s announcement, Boyaa Interactive directors want to allocate $45 million of corporate funds to Bitcoin (BTC), $45 million to Ethereum (ETH), and $10 million to stablecoins such as Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC). As for rationales for the investment, directors wrote:

“The Internet gaming business mainly operated by the Group has a high degree of logical fit with Web3 technology. It attaches great importance to communities and users, covers virtual asset attributes and other characteristics, making Web3 technology easier and more widely used in the Internet gaming industry.”

The company’s brand of 75 online games, such as its Texas Hold’em casino, has around 1.18 million daily active players. In Q3 2023, Boyaa Interactive generated $14 million in revenue and $4.2 million in earnings, respectively. 

A Boyaa Interactive online casino.
A Boyaa Interactive online casino.

China signs $400M CBDC deal with United Arab Emirates 

The People’s Bank of China — the country’s central bank — has signed a $400 million cooperation memorandum on central bank digital currencies with the United Arab Emirates.

The China Council For The Promotion of International Trade said the memorandum was signed in Hong Kong and will last for five years, allowing for the interchange of each other’s CBDC during bilateral trade.

“The renewal of the currency swap agreement reflects the depth of relations between the UAE and China and demonstrates the UAE Central Bank’s commitment to strengthening its partnership with China in the fields of finance, trade, and investment. China is the UAE’s largest global trading partner, with non-oil trade between the two countries exceeding Dh264.2 billion in 2022.”

Government officials say that the treaty “will facilitate the provision of liquidity to financial markets in local currencies to settle cross-border financial and trade transactions in a “more effective and efficient manner.”

Since its inception in 2020, digital yuan (e-CNY) transactions have surpassed 1.8 trillion yuan ($253.6 billion), while the number of wallets has surged to 120 million. Recently, four foreign banks, including Standard Chartered, HSBC, Hang Seng Bank, and Fubon Bank have joined China’s e-CNY pilot tests.

Chinese president Xi Jinping during the Shanghai Cooperation Summit (CCTV)
Chinese president Xi Jinping during the Shanghai Cooperation Summit (CCTV)

Hong Kong director Stephen Chow teases NFT drop

Award-winning Hong Kong director Stephen Chow, known for his magnum opus 2004 film Kung Fu Hustle, will soon launch his own nonfungible tokens (NFT) collection. 

In a December 6 Instagram post, Chow stated that the NFT project, dubbed “Nobody,” will be designed in collaboration with Chinese-American rapped Jin Au-Yeung, who also goes by his stage name MC Jin.

“We often look up to great people simply because they never underestimate themselves. Ordinary individuals, on the other hand, often bring the greatest surprises to the world,” wrote Chow in describing the theme of the Nobody NFT collection.

The NFTs will be released on the Moonbox platform, a Hong Kong-based AI and Web3 startup that aims to launch AI-powered NFTs focusing on the arts and film industry. Chow will serve as the first content creator on the platform. In August, Moonbox closed a $2.5 million funding round at a $50 million valuation led by OKX Ventures.

The "Nobody" NFT premier (Instagram)
The “Nobody” NFT premier (Instagram)

Singapore joins China’s e-CNY pilot program

Singapore will soon accept the e-CNY as a means of payment by Chinese visitors to the country.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), in collaboration with the People’s Bank of China and the Digital Currency Institute, will embark on a pilot enabling travelers from both countries to use e-CNY for tourism spending in Singapore and China. “This will enhance convenience for travelers when making purchases during their overseas travel,” government officials wrote.

In 2020, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation related to digital finance. At the Singapore Fintech Festival last month, the MAS revealed that it will draft a blueprint for the development of a digital Singaporean dollar. 

Read also


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Victory Securities approved for new Bitcoin fund in Hong Kong

Victory Securities, the first broker to receive a virtual asset provider license (VASP) in Hong Kong, has received regulatory approval from the country’s Securities & Futures Commission (SFC) for a new Bitcoin fund in partnership with EMC Labs. 

The Victory EMC BTC Cycle Fund will allow investor subscriptions in U.S. dollars as well as stablecoins such as USDT and USDC.

On November 27, Victory Securities received a VASP license along with Interactive Brokers. The license allows firms to offer crypto services to retail investors, but only for trading of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and certain stablecoins. In addition, its new Bitcoin fund will only be available to accredited investors meeting a $1 million portfolio requirement for the time being.

Zhiyuan Sun

Zhiyuan Sun is a journalist at Cointelegraph focusing on technology-related news. He has several years of experience writing for major financial media outlets such as The Motley Fool, and Seeking Alpha.

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