June 17, 2023
Issue No. 59
Welcome to this week's AtherXplorer, covering the latest in gaming, blockchain, and everything in between.
This week’s top picks include:
- AI: AMD Debuts AI Chips; Mercedes-Benz Adding ChatGPT to Cars
- Blockchain: BlackRock Files Application for Bitcoin ETF
- Gaming: OTK Launches Mad Mushroom, Creator-led Publishing Label
- Web3 & Metaverse: Puma Launches 3D Web3 Experience
- NFTs: 'The Goose' NFT Sells at Sotheby's Auction for $6.2M
- Legal Landscape: Congressmen Draft Bill to Reform SEC, Fire Gary Gensler
Google Introduces AI-powered Virtual Try-on & Lens Image Search for Skin Conditions
Google has recently announced two new artificial intelligence features: a Virtual Try-on feature within Google’s ‘Shopping’ section, and an AI-powered skin condition identifier in Google Lens.
The Virtual Try-on feature generates life-like images of garments on different body shapes using an AI model trained with millions of random image pairs from Google's Shopping Graph. The AI model uses diffusion and cross-attention techniques to produce each pixel of a garment being worn by a model, showing users how various tops would likely look. This allows for a more realistic virtual try-on experience than previous cut-and-paste techniques.
Meanwhile, Google Lens can now search for skin conditions from photos, providing informational matches to rashes and moles. However, Google warns that the results are not an actual diagnosis and that users should consult a medical professional. Google has been working to build this tool equitably by involving diverse clinicians to help identify different skin tones. Nonetheless, some criticisms of AI diagnostic tools tend to be less accurate for users with darker skin due to a lack of image data from individuals with darker skin in training datasets. While Google claims its system has higher accuracy for Black patients based on internal data, this claim has been met with skepticism due to a lack of transparency.
In sum, these new AI features show Google's continued progress in computer vision and machine learning to identify visual patterns, though there are clear limitations around proper medical diagnosis and system fairness that the company must continue working to improve.
AMD Debuts AI Chips, Challenging NVIDIA
AMD unveiled its new MI300X AI Accelerator chip to challenge NVIDIA's dominance in the AI market. The MI300X is optimized for AI tasks with up to 192GB of memory, making it ideal for large language models that require massive storage during training.
AMD CEO Lisa Su notes the high memory capacity gives AMD an advantage for large language models since multiple models can fit in memory instead of requiring multiple GPUs. AMD successfully ran the 40B Falcon LLM entirely in the MI300X's memory, the first time a model of that size could run entirely in memory according to Su.
The MI300X's launch comes as NVIDIA's market capitalization exceeds $1 trillion while AMD's is over $207 billion. The new chip demonstrates AMD's determination to compete in the expanding AI landscape.
The company also unveiled an update to its RocM software stack as a competitor to NVIDIA's CUDA language. The MI300X's significant memory bandwidth could persuade companies to purchase fewer GPUs, presenting AMD as a compelling value proposition for companies with light to medium AI workloads.
Mercedes-Benz Adding ChatGPT to Cars, AI Voice Commands
Mercedes-Benz is adding OpenAI's ChatGPT AI agent to its MBUX infotainment system for U.S. customers starting June 16. Owners will be able to opt into a beta program that activates ChatGPT functionality to augment the car's conversation skills.
However, it's unclear what benefits ChatGPT will provide in the constrained environment of a car. ChatGPT excels at open-ended conversation on any topic, and Mercedes provides examples such as providing details about a destination, restaurant recommendations, answering complex questions, etc. May be useful for some but could pose distractions while driving.
Mercedes describes the new capability as providing a more comprehensive voice assistant that accepts natural voice commands and conducts conversations to keep the driver's hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. But the benefits seem notional and drivers likely did not ask for this capability. Mercedes may simply want to offload its current voice interface to a third-party service.
Privacy is also a concern. Although Mercedes expresses privacy concerns, it admits it retains and analyzes user voice command data anonymously to gain insights and define strategies for future development. Mercedes says this beta program is intended to improve the voice assistant and expand it to more markets.
In Other AI News…
- Accenture announces jaw-dropping $3 billion investment in AI
- Canva announces developers platform and a $50M fund for app development
- Meta open sources an AI-powered music generator
- OpenAI intros new generative text features while reducing pricing
- Vercel Launched AI SDK to build AI-powered apps with Streaming
Blockchain and DeFi Developments
BlackRock Files Application for Bitcoin ETF
BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager with $9.5 trillion under management, filed an application with the SEC to register a spot Bitcoin ETF. The move was expected after a CoinDesk report.
BlackRock is partnering with Coinbase, which would provide custody and spot market data for the ETF, while BNY Mellon would be the cash custodian. BlackRock and Coinbase partnered last year to let BlackRock clients trade and hold digital assets using Coinbase's services.
Registering for a spot Bitcoin ETF has been difficult. To date, the SEC has not approved any spot Bitcoin ETFs due to concerns about fraud and manipulation in the spot market, though it has approved 4 Bitcoin futures ETFs.
A Bitcoin ETF allows investors to gain exposure without holding Bitcoin directly. This allows investors to buy shares that track BTC’s price performance.
The SEC has been reluctant to approve spot Bitcoin ETF applications. In 2016, Grayscale's spot Bitcoin ETF application was rejected, prompting a lawsuit against the SEC. A judge recently cast doubt on the SEC's claims that Grayscale did not provide sufficient data to determine the impact of spot market fraud on futures markets.
Colombia Signs Deal with Ripple for CBDC Pilot
Ripple has signed a deal with Colombia's central bank and Ministry for Information and Communications Technologies to explore central bank digital currency (CBDC) technology using Ripple's CBDC platform.
A CBDC is a digital version of a state's fiat currency backed by the central bank. While the announcement did not say Colombia plans to launch a CBDC, Ripple said the pilot would lay the foundation for transformative blockchain applications in the public sector.
Different countries are in various stages of researching and releasing CBDCs. Colombia's tax agency last year said the country was exploring a CBDC.
This isn't the first time Colombia has worked with Ripple. Last year, Colombia's government launched an initiative with Ripple to rectify land distribution using blockchain technology. The project, built by Peersyst Technology and Ripple, permanently stores and authenticates property titles on Ripple's public XRPL blockchain in an effort to eliminate bureaucracy and make land distribution more equitable.
Ripple was created to help banks transfer money faster and without fees. It also launched the cryptocurrency XRP, now the 6th largest digital asset with a $24.6 billion market cap. Ripple's CBDC platform uses the XRPL blockchain.
USDT Slightly De-pegged due to Curve 3Pool Imbalance
Tether's USDT stablecoin briefly de-pegged from its $1 peg as Curve's 3Pool, a top stablecoin trading pool in decentralized finance, became heavily imbalanced.
The Curve 3Pool ideally has 33.3% of each of its 3 stablecoins - USDT, USDC, and DAI - but USDT's balance increased to over 70%, meaning traders were selling a lot of USDT for USDC and DAI. This led to USDT de-pegging to $0.997.
Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino said the crypto market currently seems tense, with major players exiting. Tether sees inflows when crypto interest grows and outflows when sentiment turns negative. Ardoino also said a direct attack on Tether can't be ruled out.
The Curve 3Pool became imbalanced in March 2022 when USDC and DAI increased to over 45% each and after FTX collapsed in November 2022. USDT also became volatile after Terra's crash in May 2022.
The USDT de-pegging creates arbitrage opportunities in the market. However, USDT has never maintained a prolonged depeg from $1.
Ardoino said Tether will monitor the situation but is ready to redeem any amount of USDT.
Cross-Chain Bridge deBridge Launches App for Trading Without Liquidity Pools
DeBridge, a cross-chain bridging service, has released DLN Trade, a cross-chain exchange for trading assets across multiple blockchains.
DLN Trade uses a decentralized order book and global liquidity engine to enable trading any asset on one chain for any asset on another chain. This avoids the bottlenecks and risks of liquidity pools that most decentralized exchanges rely on.
According to developers, DLN offers speed, capital efficiency, and low fees starting at 4 basis points. Users can set limit orders and cancel anytime before fulfillment. Trades are protected from price impacts and manipulation.
Unlike other services, DLN claims its app allows trading across chains without exposure to wrapped assets or liquidity pools.
The DLN app supports Ethereum, Arbitrum, Polygon, Fantom, BNB Chain, and Avalanche.
Gaming Updates and Insights
OTK Launches Mad Mushroom, Creator-led Publishing Label
Creator-owned media company One True King (OTK), which is co-owned by popular gaming streamers Mizkif, Asmongold, and Sodapoppin, launched a publishing label called Mad Mushroom at its gaming expo. Leveraging OTK's gaming personalities and crossover content, Mad Mushroom will provide visibility for indie game developers.
Mad Mushroom aims to use OTK's 38 million-strong audience across its channels to promote its titles. Mad Mushroom wants to "deliver the best publishing experience for developers by focusing on game visibility, marketing, and distribution." OTK streamers will participate in playtesting and scouting titles.
Unlike other publisher models centered around one creator, Mad Mushroom has access to several prominent OTK creators including OTK's CEO Tips Out, Asmongold, Emiru, Esfand, Extra Emily, NMPLOL, Mizkif, Sodapoppin, Cyr, and Tectone.
Key Mad Mushroom personnel also includes industry advisor Mike Silbowitz, who has worked at Activision Blizzard, Square Enix, NCSOFT, and KRAFTON, as well as Mythic talent agency owned by OTK.
Mad Mushroom plans to involve OTK creators early in development to help games resonate with audiences. Developers will have access to multiple OTK creators for varied perspectives. Mad Mushroom prioritizes games that create engaging content and appeal to streamers, instead of focusing on genres.
OTK executives say Mad Mushroom has advantages over other publishers due to its relationships with prominent creators. This will allow Mad Mushroom to invest marketing funds into other areas and use creators to promote games at little to no cost.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown - Impressive Gameplay Unveiled
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, Ubisoft's highly anticipated 2.5 Metroidvania-style game, has treated fans to an exciting glimpse of gameplay with a more than 20-minute video from an early pre-release build. The game was first announced during Geoff Keighley's Summer Game Fest event, where he even confirmed having played the Switch version, praising its smooth performance at 60FPS.
The official press release describes the game as an exploration-driven adventure, allowing players to navigate a beautifully handcrafted world inspired by Persian mythology. With time powers, unique abilities, and a deep combat system, players will embark on a journey through Mount Qaf, solving puzzles, uncovering secrets, and engaging in exciting side quests. Scheduled for a global release on January 18th, 2024, across various platforms, including PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown promises to deliver an exhilarating experience that combines rich storytelling, intense combat, and breathtaking visuals. Prepare to wield a wide range of weapons, unleash devastating combos, and harness the power to teleport, as you immerse yourself in the legendary world of Prince of Persia once again.
Starfield — Journeying Beyond the Stars with Bethesda
The gaming community is on the edge of its seats as the highly anticipated release of Starfield approaches. Bethesda, renowned for its immersive open-world RPGs like Skyrim and Fallout, is embarking on an unprecedented journey into the cosmos with this ambitious title. From the tantalizing glimpses we've seen so far, Starfield is poised to redefine the genre and take players on an unforgettable adventure through the vastness of space.
One of the standout features of Starfield is the level of customization it offers. Players have unparalleled freedom in designing their own ships, with a multitude of components and manufacturers to choose from. The shipbuilding tools enable meticulous construction, allowing for a personal touch in every aspect. Similarly, character creation offers a staggering array of options, from facial features to background choices, ensuring that each player's journey is unique.
The depth of gameplay mechanics in Starfield is impressive as well. From pickpocketing NPCs to engaging in lockpicking and persuasion minigames, the level of interaction is intricate and rewarding. Joining factions with independent questlines adds a layer of complexity, giving players the opportunity to shape their own destinies within the vastness of space.
With its ambitious scope, Starfield aims to be a definitive space exploration RPG, offering a vast and immersive experience that will keep players engaged for hours on end. Bethesda's dedication to player choice and storytelling shines through, promising a game that will leave a lasting impression in the realm of sci-fi RPGs.
As we eagerly await Starfield's launch, the anticipation continues to build, fueled by tantalizing glimpses of what awaits us in this unexplored frontier.
Backlash and Disappointment: Overwatch 2's Controversial Paid Story Missions
Overwatch 2 is facing backlash for its decision to charge $15 for upcoming story missions, a feature that was once promised to be free. The story missions, known as Overwatch 2: Invasion, will include three co-op PvE missions set in new locations. Players will take on the roles of specific characters, such as Sojourn, Winston, Mercy, or Cassidy. However, these story missions won't feature the ambitious hero mode that was initially announced, instead resembling smaller PvE missions like those in previous Blizzard games.
The story missions will be sold as part of the $15 Overwatch 2: Invasion Bundle, which also includes in-game currency and a legendary skin. It's worth noting that the story missions will be permanent and can be purchased even after season 6 ends. However, if players want to play the story missions with a group, each member will need to own the bundle. The decision to charge for what was originally a focal point of the sequel has upset many fans, particularly considering Overwatch 2's shift towards a monetization model with paid heroes, battle passes, and skins. Despite these criticisms, the game continues to receive praise for its PvP aspects and ongoing updates, such as new heroes and inclusive events. Nevertheless, the disappointment surrounding the PvE side of Overwatch 2 has left players feeling cheated and skeptical about the game's original vision.
METAPIXEL Unveils More Details on Gran Saga’s Idol & Fan Tokens
METAPIXEL, NPIXEL’s Web3-focused Gaming Ecosystem, recently unveiled more details for their Grand Saga Unlimited Creator-focused Idol & Fan token program.
They have partnered with over 100 content creators who will participate as "Idols." Idols will receive their own Soulbound Idol Token and profile page and can register 10 fans each to play in the upcoming METAPIXEL Community Test 2. The Idol tokens will also grant benefits from the METAPIXEL ecosystem.
METAPIXEL shared some of the posed benefits for creators:
- Mutually benefits all parties (METAPIXEL, creators, and fans)
- Reward and spotlight creators
- Create and integrate communities into games
Furthermore, creators suggested customizing rewards for each community, combining with creator and community user-generated content, and on-chain ‘proof of clout’.
METAPIXEL also provided more details on the 2nd community test, mentioning that it will have 8000 testers, will run for 2 weeks from July 6-20, and is expected to include new content like clan systems, new character types, and an introduction of their web3 features.
Final Fantasy 16 Demo Generates Positive Shift in Public Opinion and Excitement
The release of a demo for Final Fantasy 16 has caused a significant positive shift in public opinion and word-of-mouth for the game. The demo effectively addressed fans' concerns, provided content for streamers and creators, and attracted newcomers to the series.
While there was already interest in the game due to its bombastic trailers and the involvement of senior staff from FF14, there was a divided and somewhat confused response. Fans questioned the game's departure from the series' roots in terms of gameplay, narrative, and style.
The demo served as a riposte to these concerns, garnering positive responses on social media and generating excitement just a week before the game's launch. Square Enix's approach to the demo, which allowed players to experience a significant portion of the opening section and carry over progress to the full game, was praised for its rarity and effectiveness. The success of the demo can be attributed to its well-structured design and ability to provide a compelling experience from the start. The game understands the importance of hooking players early and offers interesting gameplay and narrative elements in the opening hours. By catering to the realities of modern game distribution and consumption, Final Fantasy 16 has generated increased positivity and word-of-mouth marketing.
In Other Gaming News…
Web3 & Metaverse News
Puma Launches 3D Web3 Experience
On June 13, Puma launched its 3D metaverse experience called Black Station.
Black Station is described as an "experiential home" for product drops meant to provide "unbridled access" for holders of Puma's Puma Pass NFT. While open for all to explore, only Puma Pass holders with RB tokens can purchase a digital sneaker and claim digital wearables.
Holders of the RB token can burn it from June 13-20 on Black Station to access various product drops in the metaverse. Black Station's roadmap shows more general events and NFT drops later this year and in 2024.
The experience remains open until June 23. Puma decided to remain on the Ethereum blockchain after considering alternatives. Digital collectibles can also be purchased using credit cards.
In February 2022, Puma registered an Ethereum Name Service domain and changed its Twitter name to Puma.eth, indicating its entry into the Web3 space & other investments in Cat-themed NFT collections such as Cool Cats, Gutter Cat Gang and Lazy Lions.
Animoca Brands to Shift Focus Away from US Markets
Following the SEC ruling that its Sand cryptocurrency token is an unregistered security, Animoca Brands has said it is focusing on markets outside the U.S.
The SEC named Sand alongside tokens like Polygon and Solana in lawsuits against crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase, raising legal risks for companies selling the tokens. As The Sandbox metaverse platform's native token, this could significantly impact Animoca Brands.
Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu said the company is not focused on a single territory and the SEC decision should not affect it in markets outside the U.S. where Sand is available, so the company is placing more emphasis on other markets due to the US "blockchain-hostile" approach.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong initially planned to fight the SEC, stating his company would not delist tokens named in the lawsuit, including Sand. However, Binance has previously delisted tokens following SEC identification as unregistered securities.
The SEC complaint against Sand centers on whether buyers raised funds and could expect returns, which Animoca Brands spokesperson Sebastien Borget did not agree with but said would not change the platform's business.
Thirdverse Touts Engagement for Free-to-play X8 VR Multiplayer Hero Shooter
Thirdverse, a Japanese company that believes in VR games as part of the metaverse, says its free-to-play VR multiplayer hero shooter X8 had a positive first week since a big update.
In its first week, players engaged in over 27,000 matches and completed 327,000 rounds of 5 vs 5 gameplay. The game offers customizable loadouts and abilities for players.
Thirdverse said X8 has received a positive response, with features added like bombsite indicators and bug fixes. It plans to bring the game to PlayStation VR 2.
Founded in 2020, Thirdverse has raised $40 million. CEO Hironao Kunimitsu left his job at mobile gaming company Gumi to pursue his dream of VR and the metaverse.
Kunimitsu helped pioneer mobile games in Japan with Gumi. He cofounded Thirdverse and several VR startups to create a "third place" where people could play, which he hopes will turn into the metaverse.
He acknowledges that VR needs a larger fan base but believes free-to-play VR games will pay for building the metaverse. He is encouraged by how much "metaverse natives," or teenagers, play X8 for hours daily without sickness.
Inside the NFT Space
Adidas Reveals NFT-based Sneaker Drop with Artist Fewocious
Global apparel brand Adidas has teamed up with digital artist Fewocious on a physical sneaker collaboration that will be sold via an NFT redemption pass.
The collaboration, called "Trefoil Flower," will comprise 4,500 NFT mint passes available on OpenSea for purchase on June 22. The NFT mint pass will act as a redemption ticket for a limited-edition pair of Adidas Campus 00s sneakers.
Holders can "burn" (destroy) the NFT pass in August to redeem the physical sneakers, which will ship the following month.
Each pair of sneakers will have an NFC tag - a scannable chip - linked to a companion NFT.
The Trefoil Flower NFT will be sold in a 3-tier pre-sale and public sale. Holders of Adidas' existing Alts Decos and Soles NFTs, as well as Fewocious Paint Drops, will get early access at a discounted price of 0.2 ETH (~$350).
Holders of all other Adidas Alts and Fewocious NFTs, including Bored Ape Yacht Club, Doodles, and Rug Radio, will be able to mint later at 0.25 ETH (~$435). The public sale will follow at the same price.
Dmitri Cherniak's 'The Goose' NFT Sells at Sotheby's Auction for $6.2M
Dmitri Cherniak's Ringers #879 NFT sold for $6.2 million at a Sotheby's auction, blowing past its estimate of $2-3 million. The artwork, nicknamed "The Goose" for its visual resemblance, was the top lot from a sale of NFTs seized from bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.
After animated bidding, the sale received applause in the room. The piece was originally purchased by 3AC co-founders Su Zhu and Kyle Davies for roughly $5.8 million in 2021.
Michael Bouhanna of Sotheby's said the piece is a highlight of Cherniak's portfolio as "one of the most significant works from the generative art movement."
The NFT ultimately sold to notable NFT investor 6529 for $6.2 million, the second-highest sale ever for a work of generative art according to Sotheby's.
6529 said in a statement that The Goose holds cultural significance within the NFT community for being unique in its randomized algorithmic output. 6529 said they suspect The Goose's journey has "just begun."
In total, there were 37 works for sale from generative artists like Cherniak, Tyler Hobbs, and Jeff Davis. Nearly all NFTs in the auction sold for the above estimates.
To date, the Grails collection liquidation sales have brought in nearly $17 million.
Snoop Dogg Unveils ‘Passport Series’, an Evolving Digital Tour NFT
The Snoop Dogg Passport NFT will give holders access to merchandise, ticket sales for Snoop Dogg's concerts, and music playlists. NFT buyers will also be airdropped a piece of digital artwork from artists like Terrell Jones, Coldie, and Alien Queen.
The NFT drop was created in partnership with Transient Labs and talent agency WME.
Snoop Dogg said the Passport series will give fans "the opportunity to travel the world with me - no one's ever done that." He hopes to inspire other artists to innovate with digital merchandise and NFTs.
Snoop Dogg has been active in the Web3 world for years, collaborating on NFT collectibles, virtual real estate, and partnering with crypto companies.
Other artists are also using NFTs tied to concerts. Heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold recently partnered with Ticketmaster to launch a token-gated ticket sales feature that rewards NFT holders.
In Other NFT News…
- New Twitch-favorite Game ‘Only Up’ Filled with Goblintown NFT Art
- The Nifty’s BoDoggos Pre-Sale for Portal Holders Starting June 20th
- Okay Bears to Inscribe Ordinals on Bitcoin
- Two ROLEX Watches used as Loan Collateral On-Chain via NFTs
- Guy Fieri and Sammy Hagar's Tequila Brand Launches NFT Loyalty Program
Legal Landscape, Policies, and Regulation
Europe Takes Another Big Step Toward Agreeing on an AI Rulebook
The European Parliament voted to approve its negotiating position for the EU's proposed AI Act. Lawmakers backed an expanded version of the Commission's proposal aimed at ensuring AI developed in Europe complies with EU rights and values.
Changes include a total ban on remote biometric surveillance and predictive policing, as well as banning facial recognition databases created by scraping the internet. MEPs also banned the use of emotion recognition by law enforcement and increased the types of high-risk AI systems requiring oversight.
MEPs added obligations for makers of general-purpose AI like ChatGPT, requiring them to identify and mitigate risks, provide transparency disclosures for AI-generated content, and implement safeguards against illegal content. They must also publish details of copyrighted information used to train their models.
The vote passed overwhelmingly, with 499 in favor and 28 against.
MEPs said the AI Act will set global standards for developing and governing AI while ensuring technology benefits society. The executive said concerns over fast-developing generative AI highlight the need for regulation.
Negotiations between Parliament and EU Member States will now begin, with the first talks set for today. The Council favors letting industry regulate itself more, while Parliament prioritizes fundamental rights.
The Commission hopes for an agreement by the end of 2023, but the legislation likely won't apply until 2026. Voluntary initiatives aim to push for AI safety in the interim.
Congressmen Draft Bill to Reform SEC & Fire Gary Gensler
Two Republican congressmen have introduced legislation calling for the firing of SEC Chairman Gary Gensler and restructuring the SEC in response to Gensler's attacks on the crypto industry.
Rep. Warren Davidson tweeted "I filed the SEC Stabilization Act to restructure the SEC and fire Gary Gensler. U.S. capital markets must be protected from a tyrannical Chairman, including the current one." Rep. Tom Emmer joined Davidson in creating the legislation.
In a press release, the congressmen cited a "long list of abuses" by Gensler, including pursuing an "enforcement-only approach" without clear rules for crypto. Cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and Binance US have accused the SEC of an "ideological campaign" against the industry.
The legislation would give SEC commissioners like Hester Peirce, who has objected to the SEC's crypto approach, more influence. It would place rulemaking, enforcement, and investigation authority under six commissioners instead of the current five.
A maximum of three commissioners could be from the same political party and they would serve staggered six-year terms. An Executive Director would handle the agency's daily operations.
Hong Kong Government Pushes Banking Giants to Accept Crypto Clients
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Hong Kong's central bank, and regulator, has reportedly pressured major banks to serve cryptocurrency exchanges as clients.
According to the Financial Times, the HKMA questioned HSBC, Standard Chartered, and the Bank of China in a May meeting about why they weren't taking on crypto exchanges.
In April, the HKMA issued a circular requiring banks to help "virtual asset service providers," or crypto firms, gain banking services.
A source familiar with the meeting said the HKMA "encouraged the banks to not be afraid," but there is resistance from bank executives.
The HKMA declined to comment on the meeting's details but said the new rules for crypto firms are important for Hong Kong's development and banks should meet their legitimate needs.
The pressure comes as crypto exchanges face struggles in the U.S., with lawsuits from the SEC against Binance and Coinbase. Binance.US also said the SEC pressure has hurt its banking relationships.
However, some Hong Kong lawmakers support crypto firms, with one inviting Coinbase to establish operations there.
In Other Legal News…
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