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The Seoul Fintech Lab was established in 2019 and since then, has been funded by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. To date, close to 100 FinTech startups, including 26 foreign companies, have been supported through the incubation program. The Seoul Fintech Lab aims to help accelerate FinTech companies’ growth with its global network of over 300 partners and mentors, which include highly experienced investors, entrepreneurs and regulators. …


Source: DBS 2021 — First Quarter Results

DBS has set up a technology company together with JP Morgan and Temasek to change the way cross-border payments and settlements work. While the entity is not yet fully operational, initially Partior is expected to launch for SGD and USD payments within Singapore. DBS are also talking to core settlement banks for add-on currencies such as JPY, EUR and possibly RMB. Then participant banks would come in to clear their corporate and treasury payments. Partior leverages the groundwork that has been laid with “Project Ubin” by the banks previously. …


First quarter results are in, and this time we have the benefit of comparing any exchange to the gold standard, with US-based Coinbase choosing the path of a direct listing, and registering an eye-popping market capitalization of close to USD 80bn on the first trading day. So you can bet that any crypto exchange operator around the globe is doing the comparison. Alas, as of the close last Friday, Coinbase’s market cap has leveled off some, coming in at around USD 52.5bn.

Regardless, with the numbers available to us, we can determine that Coincheck achieves more than 6% of Coinbase’s…


In March 2021, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has put out its updated “Guidance on the risk-based approach to virtual assets (VAs) and virtual asset service providers (VASPs)” for public comment. The FATF originally published this Guidance in June 2019 when the FATF finalised changes to its Standards to clearly place anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) obligations on VAs and VASPs. In July 2020, the FATF committed to update this Guidance as set out in its 12-month review report and report to G20 on so-called stablecoins.

The March proposal was updated to provide the public…


Actually, Piccoma, launched in 2016 by Kakao Japan, a subsidiary of Korea’s dominant mobile platform, is the world’s highest grossing manga app. When it claimed the top spot in Japan in July last year, it displaced LINE Manga, also with Korean heritage, so the digital side of the world’s biggest comic market, valued at just over USD 5bn annually, has been in foreign hands for a while.

Piccoma has disrupted the existing comics market by offering a new drawing technique and storytelling method customized for mobile viewing. …


Photo by Florian Wehde on Unsplash

In Tokyo’s fight for relevance as a global financial center, it faces historical competition from Western hubs (New York, London), as well as the more recent strength of regional offshore financial centers (Singapore, Hong Kong), which have long offered lower tax rates and generous subsidiaries to attract financial services businesses. In fact, Hong Kong has just reached the bottom, namely a zero percent tax rate on qualified carried interest, retroactively applied, starting on April 1, 2020.

What is carried interest?

A private equity (PE) fund is a collective investment scheme with its underlying assets primarily consisting of equity securities of private companies that are…


Cryptocurrency exchange data provided by members to the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) for March 2021 continues to show an strong dependence on Bitcoin trading volumes.

In fact, out of 29 white-listed coins, only five — namely BTC, ETH, XRP, XEM and QTUM — come near a 2% market share. Coins outside of the top ten make up merely 1.2% of trading volume by value.


On April 26, publicly listed Kakao has filed for preliminary approval to list its Kakao Pay subsidiary on the Korean Stock Exchange (KRX), with the IPO expected for July 2021, which would make it the country’s first mobile FinTech startup to list.

In a separate filing, preliminary approval was also sought for Kakao Bank, which then would also become the first digital-only bank on the KRX.

Established as a function within the Kakao app ecosystem in 2014, Kakao Pay was segregated into its own subsidiary in 2017, when Ant Financial (now Ant Group) invested USD 200m. As of the time…


I have reached a personal high point of disbelief, following the unwinding of the UK Post Office scandal related to the implementation of Fujitsu’s Horizon computer system and one of the worst miscarriages of justice ever seen. The depth of maliciousness some individuals are prepared to sink to to deflect accountability are simply incomprehensible.

The Horizon system was developed by ICL, a company Fujitsu acquired in 1990 as a specialist in public sector software. Horizon was introduced into the Post Office network from 1999 for tasks such as transactions, accounting and stocktaking.

Sub-postmasters complained about bugs in the system after…


The final tally of the Archegos disaster is in for Nomura, having reported full-year results on Tuesday. Japan’s leading securities company is taking a loss of approximately USD 2.3bn in the just-ended 2020/2021 fiscal year, and estimating a further USD 570m charge as of April 23. This turned the Wholesale Division’s Equities results from a ~50% revenue growth into a 41 decline year-on-year. Given that the loss was recorded in Nomura Holding America, it also shifts the regional distribution of Global Markets revenue in favor of EMEA, Asia Ex-Japan and Japan (although the latter declined year-on-year).

“We adopted a disciplined…

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