First digital yuan wallet seizure, China’s $10B Web3 fund, Starbucks NFTs: Asia Express

Crypto MARKET_WATCH

Chinese VC whale pledges $10B for VR, NFTs and Metaverse


GBA Capital, a Chinese venture capital fund based in Shenzhen, has pledged $10 billion for an inaugural Web3 fund focusing on virtual reality, metaverse assets, and non-fungible tokens.

During the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Digital Economy Development Conference on December 26, Haolong Li, Chairman of GBA Capital,saidthat its new Web3 Fund will help the region become the “world’s meta-asset capital.”

GBA Capital is backed by China’s state-owned National Engineering Laboratory and financial institutions including the Asia Pacific Investment Bank and China Europe International Financial Group. The firm provides education training, industry capital, and investment incubation for Web3 and AI startups.

Tencent’s new blockchain fleet management patent


Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent has been awarded a patent for managing vehicle fleets using blockchain technology. According to local news reports on December 27, the patent, approved by China’s Intellectual Property Office, involves converting vehicle license plates to hash values and then verifying the hash against vehicle information stored on a public blockchain.

The procedure would allow service providers such as car rental companies and parking attendants to monitor the real-time movements of their vehicles with greater accuracy. Tencent first filed the patent application on November 29, 2019.

In recent years, the Chinese internet giant has been keen on research and development of Web3 and blockchain technology. On September 7, the company unveiled the “biggest AI language-learning model ever” with over 2 trillion data training parameters.

Starbucks’ NFT experience in Korea


Starbucks will begin issuing NFTs in South Korea in January 2024. Local news outletsreportedon December 21 that the coffee chain’s upcoming NFT drop is designed to encourage people to bring in their own cups to purchase Starbucks coffee drinks with, and will be held in conjunction with a new “tumbler coupon policy.” Any customer who orders a coffee with a reusable tumbler or mug can exchange the coupon for a grande-sized drink and may receive NFT rewards.

The number of Starbucks customers using personal coffee cups grew from 17.4 million in 2019 to 25.3 million in 2022. Last September, the coffee giant unveiled a new experience for members, allowing U.S. customers to earn and buy digital collectible stamp NFTs. The NFTs can then be exchanged for perks ranging from receiving a virtual espresso martini-making class to accessing unique merchandise to exclusive events invites at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries and possibly trips to the Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm in Costa Rica.

e-CNY wallet seized by Chinese courts for first time


The first-ever seizure of a digital yuan central bank digital currency (e-CNY CBDC) wallet occurred on December 25. According to Beijing’s Dongcheng People’s Court a joint-venture firm in Beijingwona 5 million CNY ($700,000) civil lawsuit against a defendant known only as Mr. Ding, over an investment dispute.

The plaintiff subsequently applied for enforcement of the ruling. During an investigation, bailiffs discovered that while Mr. Ding did not have enough physical assets to offset the judgment, he had an e-CNY wallet with sufficient funds to pay the plaintiff.

Liang Dong, a bailiff at the Beijing’s Dongcheng People’s Court, explained that at the time of enforcement it did not possess the technical capacity to directly seize the wallet. So Dong contacted the China Construction Bank, where the defendant held a fiat bank account bound to his e-CNY wallet. After negotiations, the bank upgraded its systems to enable the defendant’s bank assets and e-CNY wallets to be seized as per the court order. The seized currency was then transferred to an account held in escrow for the plaintiff by Beijing’s Dongcheng People’s Court.

In order to realize the legitimate rights and interests of the person applying for enforcement, after contacting the relevant departments […], the bank completed the system upgrade and successfully transferred the balance of the digital RMB wallet under the name of the person subject to enforcement, Ding, to the court account.”

Mt. Gox creditors paid, finally


Creditors of bankrupt Japanese crypto exchange Mt. Gox have finally begun to see repayments afternearly 10 yearsof legal proceedings.

Mt. Gox creditors have reportedly started receiving fiat Japanese yen payments through the firm’s bankruptcy trustee, albeit in partialinstallments. Not everything proceeded as planned however, with some users reporting double payments of their claims, only to find that theycannotreturn the money to Mt. Gox trustees via PayPal. The registration deadline for creditorsfinally closedin April after repeated extensions for several years.

Mt. Gox was the biggest Bitcoin exchange in the world when it filed for bankruptcy in 2014 after discovering that 850,000 of its customers’ Bitcoin (BTC) had been stolen after years of subtle siphoning. The exchange has since recovered around 200,000 Bitcoin, which has been held in escrow by bankruptcy trustees. At the time of the hack, the price of Bitcoin was around $580 apiece and has since surged in value to above $42,000. Around $6 billion worth of claimsremain to be paid.

$100M Web3 Fund unveiled by Wemade and Whampoa Digital


South Korean gaming firm Wemade and Singaporean venture capital fund Whampoa Digital will dedicate a $100 million fund to Web3 projects. Anannouncementdated December 22 said the Wemade Web3 Fund will be dedicated to digital asset initiatives in the Middle East. As part of the collaboration, Whampoa Digital will also become an ecosystem partner to Wemade’s WEMIX PLAY Center in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Innovation Hub.

Whampoa Digital is the technology investment arm of Whampoa Group, a privately-held investment company owned by several established families in Asia. Wemade operates the WEMIX PLAY platform for Web3 gaming.

“This partnership will allow us to pioneer new horizons in the digital asset industry beyond our already established sectors, as well as foster innovation in the Middle East,” commented Aureole Foong, Whampoa Group Senior Partner.

Source : Cointelegraph / Dec 29, 2023

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