Zhu Su pumps Milady to $19K, Alchemy Pay crypto bank, HK tokens: Asia Express


Singapore’s Alchemy Pay eyes crypto bank expansion

Singaporean blockchain payments operator Alchemy Pay is planning to open a Web3 bank this year contingent on the approval of an Authorised Payment Institution (API) license from U.K. authorities to conduct remittance, payment processing, and managed account operations.

The firm said on March 7 that upcoming Web3 Digital Bank euro and U.S. dollar bank accounts will support both enterprises and users. “Through our collaboration with banks, both conventional enterprises and Web3 firms can establish multi-currency accounts via Alchemy Pay. Real-time currency swaps are facilitated between EUR and USD, as well as between fiat and USDC/USDT,” Alchemy wrote.

Founded in Singapore in 2017, Alchemy currently supports fiat to crypto on-ramping and payment solutions in 173 countries. The firm allows users to purchase nonfungible tokens directly using their fiat payment methods and use their virtual or physical crypto cards for instant spending.  

Alchemy Pay's 2024 roadmap for its Web3 bank.
Alchemy Pay’s 2024 roadmap for its Web3 bank.

Milady NFT bull run

Anime avatar nonfungible tokens (NFT) collection Milady has doubled in floor price in recent days to $19,000 apiece. As per data from Blur, over 3,339 Ether worth of Milady NFTs were traded in the past few days. The increase comes in part due to promotion by Zhu Su, co-founder of bankrupt Singaporean hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), who tweeted on March 6: 

“Yo what up milady fam! Had to sweep some miladys after hearing you have the best memes in web3! Is milady follow milady still a thing?! Anyways, hell yeah let’s see what this community’s all about! It’s moon time my degens aha WAGMI nft sistas.”

The price of the Milady NFT series has frequently been volatile due to promotions by various blockchain personalities and celebrities. On May 11, 2023, Milady memecoins surged by over 5,250% within 24 hours after American business magnate Elon Musk tweeted a meme using the imagery of a Milady NFT. 

Milady NFTs' trading activity (BLUR)
Milady NFTs’ trading activity (BLUR)

Hong Kong regulators to support tokenization

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has given the nod for the regulated development of tokenized assets in Hong Kong. 

According to the March 7 announcement, the city’s new initiative, Project Ensemble, will seek to develop a new wholesale Hong Kong dollar central bank digital currency (wCBDC) and explore the city’s innovative financial market infrastructure.

“The project will initially focus on tokenised deposits, which is a digital representation of commercial bank deposits, issued by commercial banks and made available to the general public,” officials wrote.

“With wCBDC as the foundation, tokenised deposits can be used for tokenised asset transactions, unlocking new opportunities for optimisation and innovation in the tokenisation era.”

Meanwhile, Project Ensemble’s wCBDC Sandbox will act as the infrastructure for tokenized assets such as green bonds, carbon credits, aircraft, electric vehicle charging stations, as well as electronic bills of lading and treasury management.

At its inception, the HKMA will form a wCBDC Architecture Community consisting of local and foreign banks along with key players in the Web3 industry.

“Project Ensemble will provide fresh impetus to our vibrant financial industry and reinforce our forefront position in tokenised money and assets,” said Eddie Yue, chief executive of the HKMA.

Senior company representatives at the unveiling of Hong Kong's second phase of CBDC tests (HKMA)
Senior company representatives at the unveiling of Hong Kong’s second phase of CBDC tests (HKMA)

On February 7, Swiss multinational bank UBS’ Hong Kong subsidiary announced that it had tokenized an investment warrant on the Ethereum blockchain together with local cryptocurrency exchange OSL.

The tokenized product was an options call warrant with Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi Corporation as the underlying stock. After tokenization, the digital asset was then sold to the OSL Exchange. Similarly, on June 12, 2023, UBS facilitated the issuance of 200 million Chinese yuan ($28 million) worth of digital structured notes minted on the Ethereum blockchain in Hong Kong.

Victory Securities and Matrixport to offer crypto asset security services

Hong Kong broker Victory Securities and Singaporean blockchain analytics firm Matrixport’s subsidiary Cactus Custody have partnered to bring crypto custody solutions to institutional investors as of March 6.

Through the agreement, Cactus Custody will supply Victory Securities with know-your-customer and anti-money laundering onboarding tools for its products, such as the Victory EMC BTC Cycle Fund, a Bitcoin fund that allows qualified investors to subscribe using stablecoins.

Victory Securities is a publicly traded Hong Kong broker with a market cap of $601.33 million Hong Kong dollars ($76.89 million). On November 24, 2024, the firm was cleared for retail crypto trading by the city’s Securities & Exchange Commission. 

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Singapore’s Bitdeer’s memorable quarter

Singaporean cryptocurrency miner Bitdeer’s revenue surged by 49% year over year in the last quarter of 2023 to $114.8 million. As per earning results reported on March 4, the firm’s losses also narrowed from $13.04 million in Q4 2022 to $5.03 million during the same period.

In January, Cointelegraph reported that Jihan Wu, former CEO of Bitcoin application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) manufacturer Bitmain, will retake the reins as CEO after having founded the firm in 2020. Wu is also the founder of crypto financial services firm Matrixport.

Matrixport made waves in January after a report from its analysts speculated that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission would not approve listings of spot Bitcoin BTC exchange-traded funds due to political risk. The SEC subsequently approved such offerings on January 10.

Despite an ongoing bull market, Bitcoin miners have been experiencing a troubled recovery as rising electricity prices, mining difficulty, and a 50% reduction in block rewards as part of Bitcoin’s anticipated halving in April have all taken a toll on bottom lines. One such Bitcoin miner, Singapore-based Sai.Tech has seen its stock lose over 95% of its value since its initial listing on the NASDAQ exchange in April 2022. 

Chinese business magnate Wu Jihan (Twitter).
Chinese business magnate Wu Jihan (Twitter).

Zhiyuan Sun

Zhiyuan Sun is a journalist at Cointelegraph focusing on technology-related news. He has several years of experience writing for major financial media outlets such as The Motley Fool, Nasdaq.com and Seeking Alpha.

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