Asia Express – Cointelegraph Magazine
Chinese blockchain Sputnik’s maiden voyage
A Chinese satellite has become the first in the world to carry a blockchain imaging and screening system into orbit.
According to local news outlet Red Star News on July 22, the Tai’an Star Era 16 was successfully launched into orbit from the China Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Developed by NationStar Aerospace Technology Co., the satellite features a visual blockchain on-orbit certificate storage system dubbed ‘ADAChain’ (not related to Cardano) developed in-house by NationStar. Researchers wrote:
“The [ADAChain] can realize functions such on-orbit visual blockchain multi-signature authentication, on-orbit video visual broadcasting, and on-orbit visual remote sensing data storage certificate confirmation.”
The purpose of the satellite’s voyage is to “obtain rich spectral information on the surface of the target area,” in the fields of “precision agriculture, water resources management, mineral resource investigation, environmental monitoring, and emergency safety.” Blockchain technology will also assist in achieving the goals of “high spatial resolution, high spectral resolution, and high temporal resolution” in such satellite imaging.
Digital Yuan CBDC expands to Hong Kong
The Bank of China’s Hong Kong subsidiary has allowed individuals in the Special Administrative Region (SAR) to utilize the digital yuan central bank digital currency (e-CNY CBDC) for retail shopping.
According to a July 20 report, over 200 merchants, such as shopping centers, pharmacies, convenience stores, and electronic stores have accepted the e-CNY CBDC as a means of payment from shoppers originating in Mainland China. The e-CNY CBDC is currently not available to Hong Kong users.
As a SAR, Hong Kong maintains separate political, economic and social institutions from Mainland China. Advocates have previously called for the Hong Kong government to issue its own Hong Kong Dollar CBDC to compete with the likes of Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC). Similarly, Chinese President Xi Jinping has emphasized the importance of CBDCs as a means of settling international trade in local currencies.
Terraform Labs struggles to get back on its feet
“Every time we would make a little progress, there would be some accusation or something that would derail us,” said Terraform Labs’ interim CEO Chris Amani in a Twitter Space on July 20.
According to Amani, the arrest of the entity’s co-founder and former CEO Do Kwon in Montenegro has essentially shattered all momentum that the ailing network is trying to reestablish. In May 2022, the $40 billion Terra Luna (LUNC) ecosystem collapsed due to the implosion of its algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD (USTC). Shortly afterward, Kwon created the Terra 2.0 (LUNA) ecosystem. The three tokens have a combined market cap of $1.3 billion at the time of publication.
In its next phase, Amani says that nine projects built on the combined Terra Luna ecosystem are scheduled to launch within the next few months. None of the projects will reportedly issue their own tokens. In addition, Amani warned that the projects face stiff competition from other layer-one projects due to lacking a Luna Foundation Guard or protocol treasury for financial support.
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South Korean crypto lender shuts down amid criminal proceedings
South Korean crypto lender Delio says all of its company and customers’ assets have been seized in a raid conducted by prosecutors on July 18.
In the July 22 announcement, Delio announced it would pause all interest payments to users effective immediately after the asset seizures made it impossible for the company to continue normal operations. In June, the crypto lender suspended all withdrawals and deposits on its platform, citing exposure to counterparty and fellow South Korean crypto lender Haru Invest, which in turn suspended all transfers due to an issue with a “consignment operator,” B&S Holdings.
Haru Invest is currently undergoing bankruptcy proceedings. Meanwhile, Delio is one of the largest crypto lenders in South Korea, with around $1.5 billion in customer Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and altcoin deposits. Since June 30, the firm has been under investigation by the country’s Financial Services Commission on allegations of fraud, embezzlement and breach of trust.
The firm previously stated that it would enable the withdrawal of users’ assets without stating a specific timeframe. However, similar to the Multichain saga, it is unlikely the company can do so when customers’ assets have been seized as part of criminal proceedings.
In a July 23 blog post, Haru Invest CEO Hugo Lee wrote that B&S Holdings’ assets have also been seized by authorities and that the company is currently trying to recover the funds. All of the firm’s operations have been suspended, and the company is scheduled to liquidate its remaining assets in phases. Haru Invest currently has more than 80,000 users.
Indonesia’s national crypto exchange goes live
A national cryptocurrency exchange operated by the government of Indonesia will be the only legal venue for trading crypto assets in the Southeast Asian country.
In a July 20 statement from the country’s Commodity Futures Trading Supervisory Agency, also known as Bappebti, the exchange is currently open for spot trading, with future plans to expand its offering to cryptocurrency futures and derivatives. All cryptocurrency exchange registered within the country could join the national exchange, which serves as a clearing house to ensure transactions abide by relevant regulations.
Despite official support, Islamic organizations in Indonesia have previously deemed the use of cryptocurrency to be haram, or forbidden, for Muslim users. That said, there is no consensus from Islamic scholars regarding the matter.
On the 40th anniversary of the introduction of chicken McNuggets, McDonald’s Hong Kong is partnering with Sandbox to launch a namesake metaverse to celebrate the occasion.
Dubbed “McNuggets Land,” the metaverse will allow users to interact with McNuggets-themed gaming characters and avatars. Randy Lai, CEO of McDonald’s Hong Kong, commented:
“Rooted in Hong Kong for 48 years, McDonald’s has always strived to deliver innovative experiences and Happy Moments. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Chicken McNuggets, we are excited to collaborate with The Sandbox to provide fun-filled Web3 Metaverse game experience.”
A reward pool of 100,000 SAND tokens and 10,000 vouchers for McNugget perks will be distributed to participants. Since its entry into then British Hong Kong in 1975, the franchise currently operates 250 restaurants around the city, serving more than 1 million customers per day.
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