Hong Kong crypto ETFs’ rise to popularity
During a June 28 interview with Hong Kong’s public broadcast agency, Radio Television Hong Kong, Hang Seng Investment Management chief executive and board member Peishan Li disclosed that digital asset ETFs listed in the special administrative region of China have surpassed $12 billion Hong Kong dollars ($1.532 billion) in assets under management. Li noted:
“At present, there is no clear goal [from our firm] to create an ETF with the theme of virtual assets, but it has paid close attention to the development of related asset classes, and is examining the possibility of deploying virtual currencies in existing investment products.”
According to figures provided by Li, the total AUM of Hong Kong crypto ETFs grew by 80% compared with December 2022, with a daily trading volume of 1.7 billion HKD. This represents 6% of the daily trading volume of all stocks on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. The SAR previously allowed the listing of crypto ETFs in July 2022, which initially struggled to gain traction.
Binance co-founder warns of altcoin rout
On July 2, Binance co-founder and former Chinese television host Yi He warned, “Please don’t trust the community’s trading signals that blindly chase higher prices,” noting the price of major altcoins “have fallen by 80% to 90%” in recent times. The warning came just days after the exchange listed MAV, the token of permissionless decentralized finance protocol Maverick, and offered perpetual MAV contracts at 20x leverage.
Launched in March, Maverick boasts an advanced automated market maker liquidity provider network, securing a $9 million funding round in June. The protocol is backed by prominent names such as Jump Crypto, Pantera Capital, Circle and Gemini. Since its launch, the protocol has reached nearly $55 million in total value locked.
Shortly after the listing, MAV skyrocketed to $1.98 a piece on Binance before slumping to $0.43 at the time of publication, which is still significantly higher than its initial listing price of $0.05. He wrote:
“According to the history of previous cycles, the first day of an IEO yields several times [return], and it is not in line with the current market situation to pull it up to 10x or 20x [return]. Please DYOR.”
Amid the retail frenzy, the Binance co-founder also warned, “The price of tokens is not controlled by Binance. The price is affected by both buyers and sellers. Please pay attention to investment risks.” Despite a thaw in crypto markets, the market cap of coins and tokens excluding Bitcoin has remained stagnant over the past year at around $550 billion.
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Though not nearly as popular as her counterpart, Changpeng Zhao, He is responsible for the overall marketing strategy and branding of Binance and is credited with the exchange’s rise to prominence. She now also serves in the additional role of director of Binance Labs. She also happens to be Zhao’s partner, both on a business and a romantic level, with the two sharing two children together.
Yi He appears in a Binance advertising campaign. (Binance)
Chinese DeFi protocol hacked yet again
On July 2, Chinese DeFi protocol Poly Network announced it had been hacked yet again, with the breach affecting as many as 57 different asset types across 10 blockchains.
According to DeFi security analyst Arhat, hackers allegedly exploited a smart contract vulnerability allowing them to mint an unrestricted amount of tokens from Poly Network’s multichain pools. An estimated $42 billion worth of tokens were minted, although only $5 million have been reportedly cashed out. Developers wrote:
“We kindly request the assistance of cybersecurity professionals and individuals with relevant knowledge. If you possess any information that could aid us in this endeavor, we encourage you to actively contact us.”
Shortly after the hack, the total value locked on Poly Network plunged from $277 million to $176 million. Previously in August 2021, hackers stole at least $600 million from Poly Network in what cybersecurity firm SlowMist called “a long-planned, organized and prepared attack.”
Just two days later, however, the hacker returned almost all of the stolen funds and refused a $500,000 white hat bounty, saying, “I will send all of their money back,” and that the hack was just “for fun” because “cross-chain hacking is hot.”
Poly Network hacker explaining his alleged rationale in a Q&A. (Elliptic via Twitter)
Hong Kong launches Web3 Task Force
Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Mr. Paul Chan.
On June 30, Hong Kong announced the establishment of a Web3 Task Force spearheaded by Paul Chan Mo-po, the SAR’s financial secretary. The team is comprised of 15 industry veterans, along with regulators and government officials, all with a term of two years. According to officials, the Web3 Task Force will be dedicated to the sustainable, responsible development of emerging Web3 technologies in Hong Kong, along with the submission of proposals to the government.
Chan commented: “The blockchain technology behind Web3 has the characteristics of disintermediation, security, transparency and low cost, and can solve many difficulties and pain points in finance, transactions, business operations and even life.” He continued that “an international financial center” and a “metropolis” such as Hong Kong should embrace the development of Web3, albeit under “suitable regulation.”
On July 3, Animoca Brands CEO Yat Siu was appointed to the task force. Previously, the crypto executive stated that crypto VC is only struggling “from an American perspective” and that the industry is actually “very vibrant” in both the Middle East and Asia.
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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.