Crypto firms in Hong Kong can only open ‘simple’ bank accounts, an elderly couple in the US was held hostage for $156,000 in crypto, and Binance can operate in Dubai but not in Nigeria.

Crypto firms in Hong Kong can only open 'simple' bank accounts, an elderly couple in the US was held hostage for $156,000 in crypto, and Binance can operate in Dubai but not in Nigeria.

The Growing Blockchain Industry: Regulation, Crime, Exchanges, CBDCs, Mining, and Sports

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Regulation News

The blockchain industry continues to face regulatory challenges and developments across different jurisdictions. In Hong Kong, licensed crypto companies have gained the ability to open bank accounts, albeit “simple” ones, according to the director of commercial and customer services at HSBC-owned Hang Seng Bank. While this is a positive step forward, the exact limitations and excluded services for crypto companies remain undisclosed1.

Crime News

As cryptocurrencies gain popularity, they attract attention from both legitimate investors and criminals. In a concerning incident in North Carolina, USA, an elderly couple became victims of armed men who held them hostage in their own home. The criminals made gruesome threats and ultimately stole over $156,000 in cryptocurrency from the couple. The incident serves as a reminder that the pseudo-anonymity of cryptocurrencies can be exploited for criminal purposes. However, it is worth noting that Coinbase flagged and denied a fourth transaction, demonstrating the potential security measures in place2.

Exchange News

The licensing and operation of cryptocurrency exchanges are significant aspects of the blockchain industry. Binance, a prominent exchange, obtained a license to operate in Dubai. This achievement came after fulfilling the pre-licensing conditions that had been initiated in September 2022. The new operational MVP license enables eligible users in Dubai to access authorized services, including secure conversion of virtual assets to fiat under intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force standards3. However, Binance faces challenges in Nigeria, where the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission declared the exchange’s activities illegal. The commission mandated that all platform providers immediately cease soliciting Nigerian investors, emphasizing the need for regulatory compliance4. Another exchange, Kraken, encountered technical issues with Ethereum’s funding gateway. Fortunately, the issues were addressed, and the exchange returned to normal operations subsequently5.


Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) contribute significantly to the blockchain industry’s development. The Bank of Korea narrowed down the potential regions for the piloting of its CBDC to Jeju, Busan, and Incheon, excluding the capital city Seoul. The selected region will experiment with payment and distribution at a public level and establish franchises capable of accepting CBDC payments. The CBDC electronic wallet app will be accessible not only to local residents but also to civilians, including tourists. The regional closed tests will mirror the issuance and distribution of the current local currency scheme implemented in various South Korean regions6.

Mining News

Cryptocurrency mining operations play a crucial role in maintaining blockchain networks, but they sometimes involve unauthorized activities. In the town of Miri on the island of Borneo, an illegal crypto mining operation was shut down following a tip-off from the public. The joint operation by Sarawak Energy and the police uncovered 34 crypto mining servers that were illicitly using stolen electricity through cable tapping. The authorities confiscated the seized equipment and estimated that the illegal operation had caused monthly losses of approximately $1,3307.

Sport News

The blockchain industry is not limited to finance and technology, as it extends to various sectors. Fantasy-sports company Sorare recently partnered with Mangopay to launch Cash Wallet, enabling fans to make purchases in fiat currencies. This partnership offers the company’s five million registered users the ability to connect their bank accounts, store credit card details, and directly deposit money into their Cash Wallet. This integration streamlines the process of buying and selling sports-related digital assets8.

The blockchain industry continues to experience rapid growth, encompassing various sectors and encountering diverse challenges. Regulatory frameworks are evolving to accommodate this innovative technology, as seen in Hong Kong and Nigeria. However, criminal activities remind us of the need for robust security measures and responsible engagement with cryptocurrencies. The licensing of exchanges, such as Binance’s permission to operate in Dubai, demonstrates the increasing acceptance of blockchain-based financial services. CBDC trials, like those conducted by the Bank of Korea, emphasize the potential benefits of government-backed digital currencies. Additionally, industries outside of finance, like sports, are leveraging blockchain technology to improve user experiences and streamline transactions.

As the blockchain industry matures, it will undoubtedly face new opportunities and challenges, requiring continuous innovation and collaboration between regulatory bodies, businesses, and individuals.

  1. Hong Kong Economic Journal↩︎

  2. NBC News↩︎

  3. Binance↩︎

  4. Securities and Exchange Commission Nigeria↩︎

  5. Kraken↩︎

  6. IT Chosun↩︎

  7. The Borneo Post↩︎

  8. VentureBeat↩︎

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