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Morning News: FSB in G20 Warning, S Korean Exchanges Go on Offensive

  • S Korean Exchanges Abandoning Self-imposed Regulations
  • FSB Chairman Sends Crypto-Asset Warning to G20 Ministers
  • S Korean Lawmakers Call UK, Estonia, Finland Blockchain, Crypto Summit
  • BIC Camera: “Most of Our Crypto Customers Are Japanese”

Catch up on the most essential cryptocurrency and blockchain news stories breaking in Asia and the Americas while the rest of the world was asleep.

FSB Chairman Sends Crypto-Asset Warning to G20 Ministers
Crypto-assets do not pose risks to global financial stability at this time, however this could change if it were to become significantly more widely used or interconnected with the core of the regulated financial system, Mark Carney, the chairman of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), said in a letter to the G20 finance leaders now meeting in Buenos Aires. FSB is a group of major national authorities comprising finance ministries, central bankers and international financial bodies.
Carney, who is also the governor of the Bank of England, wrote, “Wider use and greater interconnectedness could, if it occurred without material improvements in conduct, market integrity and cyber resilience, pose financial stability risks through confidence effects.”
The FSB plans to identify metrics for "enhanced monitoring of the financial stability risks posed by crypto-assets."
Carney has previously warned of impending “anarchy” should financial leaders fail to impose regulations on international cryptocurrency trading. Several countries say they will push for wide-reaching regulations at the talks, which conclude on March 20.

S Korean Exchanges Abandoning Self-imposed Regulations
South Korean cryptocurrency exchange platforms are cautiously returning to the front foot as government pressure eases in the country – with major exchanges beginning on new advertising campaigns, product releases and a slew of discounts and special offers. In December last year, the country’s leading exchanges decided to self-regulate in an attempt to avoid government sanctions, vowing to cease “excessive” marketing and advertising efforts and stop adding new altcoins to their trading platforms. However, three months on, it seems competition is intensifying again, with Upbit, one of the country’s top-performing platforms, recently adding eight altcoins to its platform. Bithumb’s new advertising and product launch offensive continues, meanwhile. And rival Coinone has unveiled a 25m billboard ad at Seoul’s most prestigious shopping mall, IFC – as well as enlisting A-list celebrity endorsements from the likes of actor Lee Dong-wook. Media outlet INews quotes an anonymous exchange executive as saying, “Why should we adhere to regulations that our competitors aren’t following anymore?”

S Korean Lawmakers Call UK, Estonia, Finland Blockchain, Crypto Summit
Leading South Korean politicians say they have struck a deal that will help the country collaborate on blockchain policy-related matters with parliament and private sector leaders in the UK, Estonia and Finland. MPs Kim Byung-gwan and Jung Byung-guk, of the ruling Democratic Party, say the four countries will hold a summit in October that will focus on the coordination of blockchain policy-making and streamlining legislation. The summit will also look at blockchain monitoring and evaluation methods to prevent the misuse of blockchain technology in the four countries. News outlet Gyeonggi Ilbo quotes Kim as saying the summit could also allow the countries to collaborate on cryptocurrency policing matters.

BIC Camera: “Most of Our Crypto Customers Are Japanese”
Japanese electronics retail giant BIC Camera says that most of its cryptocurrency customers are domestic, not Chinese, as previously expected. The retailer plans to start accepting bitcoin payment at all of its outlets beginning in July this year, following successful trials at two of its stores in Chiyoda and Shinjuku, Tokyo’s biggest tourist hotspots. A BIC Camera spokesperson told news outlet IT Media, “We were expecting an influx of Chinese customers at the Chiyoda and Shinjuku branches, where we offer duty-free sales for foreign passport holders. But in fact, most of our cryptocurrency sales have been to Japanese nationals. That is why we are now looking to allow cryptocurrency transactions at all of our branches beginning in summer.”

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