The news of Thailand’s national airdrop, where every citizen aged 16 and older would receive 10,000 baht ($285), has garnered attention in East Asia. Thailand’s ruling Pheu Thai party is working on developing a “utility type 1” token for the airdrop, which will require consultation with the Bank of Thailand. However, the implementation of this solution is expected to take at least six months. Additionally, users will be charged a 100 baht fee for the Know Your Customer (KYC) process, and the approval of the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission is needed. The Thavisin Airdrop, promised by real estate developer and crypto investor Srettha Thavisin during his campaign for prime minister, will be funded via tax collection in the 2024 fiscal year with a total budget estimate of 560 billion baht ($16 billion). However, it is important to note that these digitized tokens will have limitations – they can only be spent within four kilometers of the user’s residence, and they will be valid for only six months without the option for conversion into cash or settling debts.

Troubles continue for South Korean Bitcoin lender Delio, which holds over $1.2 billion in Bitcoin and Ether. It is expecting a recovery rate of only 50% to 70% on its assets, which raises concerns for its users. Delio had to suspend deposits and withdrawals after disclosing its significant exposure to fellow South Korean Bitcoin lender Haru Invest, which is currently undergoing bankruptcy proceedings due to allegations of fraudulent activities. Moreover, Delio is currently under investigation by regulatory authorities for allegations of fraud, embezzlement, and breach of trust. Although Delio previously announced plans to resume withdrawals, there have been no updates on the timeline for this.

Vietnam’s Leadership in Crypto Adoption

Vietnam has claimed the top spot in crypto adoption globally, with up to 19% of its population between the ages of 18 and 64 using digital assets. This information comes from a report by Vietnamese venture capital firms Kyros Ventures and Coin 68, in collaboration with Animoca Brands. Vietnam currently hosts around 200 blockchain projects and is expected to generate $109.4 million in revenue from crypto exchanges this year. The number of crypto users in the country is projected to reach 12.37 million by 2027. Interestingly, Vietnamese crypto users heavily rely on advice from friends when making investment decisions, with 76% stating that friends’ recommendations influence their investment choices. This percentage is 2.5 times higher than that of individuals surveyed in the U.S. Furthermore, the report reveals that 70% of respondents believe the crypto bear market will last less than a year or has already ended. Centralized exchanges are regarded as offering as much utility as decentralized ones by almost half of the respondents. However, despite this, 90% of crypto owners say they use decentralized exchanges.

Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has plans to expand its operations in Japan. Tsuyoshi Chino, CEO of Binance Japan, shared during an online business briefing that the exchange aims to list 100 coins and tokens as quickly as possible. Currently, Binance Japan provides spot trading of cryptocurrencies and staking “Simple Earn” programs, but margin trading is unavailable until the exchange obtains a regulatory license. Binance itself boasts an impressive user count, surpassing 150 million, with an average daily trading volume of $65 billion. This expansion plan comes after cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase ceased its operations in Japan due to challenging market conditions.

China’s Digital Yuan and the Promotion of Its CBDC

China’s central government has been actively promoting its digital yuan central bank digital currency (CBDC) to stimulate the country’s economy amidst a potential recession. The CBDC has already exceeded $123 billion in cumulative transactions since 2021, with test sites operating in 17 provinces and 26 districts. In a government-sponsored conference, officials from the City of Shenzhen pledged 15 million digital yuan ($2.1 million) for municipal airdrops over the next three years. This move highlights the efficiency of the digital yuan in consumer transactions, leveraging its immutable distributed ledger technology. The platform currently involves more than 200 merchants across various industries such as education, training, catering, pet services, elderly care, and sports.

These recent developments in East Asia’s cryptocurrency landscape present a mixture of promising initiatives and concerning challenges. Thailand’s national airdrop aims to provide stimulus to its citizens, but its limitations raise questions about its overall impact. Delio’s troubles in South Korea signal potential risks for users of crypto lending platforms. Vietnam’s leadership in crypto adoption showcases its growing interest and involvement in the digital asset space. Binance’s expansion strategy in Japan provides a boost to the country’s cryptocurrency ecosystem after Coinbase’s exit. Lastly, China’s aggressive promotion of its digital yuan CBDC highlights its commitment to leveraging digital currencies for economic growth. As East Asia continues to navigate the evolving crypto landscape, these developments will shape the region’s position in the global cryptocurrency industry.


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