The Week in Crypto
The Asian markets have seen major shifts this week, as crackdowns swept across China and India.
Thailand is considering developing its own cryptocurrency wallet for secure government use. The South-East Asian country is home to a large crypto community, and there is high public and corporate demand for greater cyber security.
In Turkey and Venezuela, citizens are increasingly viewing cryptocurrency as a safe alternative to their local fiat currency. While state governments grapple with massive inflation and economic crisis, savvy members of the public are banking on crypto.
The ASX has delayed the rollout of the CHESS system until 2021.
And IBM quietly announced the release of it’s new Blockchain World Wire, which enables almost real time financial transfers around the globe.
Chinese Blockchain Companies
Big changes are underway in Sydney’s emerging financial district of Barangaroo.
A multi-billion dollar opportunity for Australia has appeared in the form of countless Chinese blockchain companies setting up shop here.
Speaking with CoinCast TV from his offices in Sydney, Xiao Chen from CSJ Legal Group was enthusiastic about the shift. “The Australian government is clearly blockchain-friendly,” he explained.
Mr. Chen quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping, who said that “blockchain technology is ten times more important than the internet itself.”
Australia is not the only country hosting a growing number of Chinese blockchain companies. From Singapore and Japan to Gibraltar and Eastern Europe, this mass expansion has global ramifications that will shape the crypto community as we know it.
According to reporter Kema Johnson, these Chinese companies are creating jobs locally as well. Instead of a small office with three or four foreign employees, Australians are being hired en masse.
Chen told Coincast TV that “[these Chinese companies] would have their own marketing team, business team, compliance team, IT team… you know, everything. They want to base all these things in Australia.”
Playing Tokens are Winners
The release of PlayChip, a token by Fantasy Sports platform Play Up, means everyone wins. In less than a year, the community of users has exceeded 1 million and things are only looking up.
Entrepreneur Luke Lombe caught up with Coincast TV recently to share his latest venture.
“PlayChip is a universal token for sports betting, gaming, fantasy sports and e-sports. The interesting thing about the playchip is that it is a currency that allows people to frictionlessly operate within our growing ecosystem of gaming and sports betting apps.”
Playchip is the most recent winner of the Tim Draper Hero Choice Award, and runner-up for the Whale Tank ICO Award.
Prior to the token’s public release, Lombe acquired the US gaming company 123 Gaming exclusively in tokens. “This is the first ever example of a cryptocurrency or blockchain enabled company using its own tokens to purchase a registered company,” he said.
The token allows for instant cash out, and is compatible with a diverse range of blockchain supported services. PlayUp is currently creating its own wallet and exchange specifically for PlayChip users.
“You can connect to your credit card, you can connect to your bank account, you can connect to your other cryptocurrencies.”
According to Lombe, PlayUp and the use of PlayChip does not constitute gambling.
Sydney’s Crypto Investment and ICO Summit
This week, Quest Events in Sydney hosted the international Crypto Investment and ICO Summit. Spanning several days, the summit saw high-level investors meeting with Australian crypto startups to discuss possible partnerships.
Aleks Zids of Quest Events explained that they were trying to attract “big traditional investment funds who are looking at moving into this space now or in the near future.”
To succeed, organizers had to be aware of investors’ experience with cryptocurrency and blockchain.
“Investors here today are looking at these projects,” said JP Thor from Canya. “They’re going ‘I don’t understand the industry and I certainly don’t understand how the money moves and how fast it moves’.”
The event was well-attended by investors from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and beyond.
According to reporter Heidi Cuthbert, “they are all here to have a look at this new technology and how it might be an interesting investment opportunity.”
Greg Norman’s Blockchain Island
Picture long sandy beaches, palm trees, turquoise waters and secluded villas nestled above the coves. Relying on blockchain technology, this will soon be a reality.
Located off the coast of Queensland near the Great Barrier Reef, Great Keppel Island Resort is the brainchild of retired golfer Greg Norman.
Mr. Norman shot to fame in 1981 after winning the British Masters competition. He would go on to spend 331 weeks as Number 1 on the Official World Golf Rankings, and earn a reputation for skillful, aggressive performance.
The golf champion hopes to reach similar levels of success with Great Keppel Island Resort. As he told Coincast TV, “when you have an island with seventeen pure white beaches, you can maximise that.”
Investors will be invited to buy Great Keppel Island tokens in return for a stake in the resort. Similar to an initial coin offering, this is a security token offering for shares.
With an approximate price tag of $300 million, the resort has potential to become a premiere luxury travel destination in Australia.
The development will include a beach hotel with 750 private villas, 300 luxury apartments and 250 beachside hotel suites. To facilitate easy access, there will be a marina and a small commercial airport.
Other amenities include a retail precinct, and a golf course designed by the golf legend himself.
A Push for Regulation
The Australian Digital Commerce Association (ADCA) recently released a code of conduct for business activities in the crypto sphere. Coincast TV’s Heidi Cuthbert spoke with ADCA CEO Nick Giurietto in Sydney to learn more.
“[We’re] working on a code of conduct for token issuers in Australia,” Mr. Giurietto said. “The goal is to create some extra certainty and confidence in these emerging markets.”
The move is targeting new investors who are considering putting their money into tokens. But what is the difference between a token sale and traditional equity markets?
According to Mr. Giurietto, “token sales go back to the way capital markets were supposed to operate when they first emerged.”
“A token offering is highly efficient, highly transparent, and very democratic in that it allows people who often can’t participate in the markets today to participate in these new markets.”
There are elements in the crypto community who would prefer to stay deregulated, whose biggest fear is a centralized controlling body.
ADCA wants to avoid this, said Mr. Giurietto. “If we get the regulatory balance wrong, it could act as a barrier for a little while until we correct for that.”
While it is still early days for the project’s implementation, hopes are high that this will deliver an added degree of security for investors.
A Visit to the Dentist
Nowadays, not even the sky’s the limit to what cryptocurrency can buy you. From space travel and hotels to beer and burgers… to appointments at the dentist?
Coincast TV spoke with Dr. Luke Cronin at Quality Dental in North Sydney to get the scoop.
“In crypto at the moment, there is difficulty in using it in retail and at point of sale,” Dr. Cronin explained. But it’s not all bad news. “I think that is going change.”
Dr. Cronin offers services in exchange for major cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin.
Until Next Time
Visit Coincast TV to view more episodes, or check back with Bitcoin Australia for all the latest crypto news.
Liz is a Canadian journalist and writer for Bitcoin Australia. Connect with her on Twitter @Elizabeth_Utley, or on Linkedin as Elizabeth Utley.