A decade after collapsing, crypto exchange Mt Gox repays some investors

Plus: Samsung strike; India likely upping chip subsidies; Asian nations link payment schemes

Asia In Brief Mt Gox, the Japanese crypto exchange that dominated trading for a brief time in the early 2010s before collapsing amid the disappearance of nearly half a billion dollars worth of the digicash, likely as a result of its own shoddy software, has said it will start to repay some investors – in Bitcoin.

Last week the failed scheme issued a notice [PDF] advising creditors that it would repay some Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. The Bitcoin Mt Gox lost track of is now worth over $50 billion – meaning some investors may come out ahead even though the outfit hasn't recovered all its virtual assets.

Of course once the payouts conclude, more Bitcoin will be in circulation – so the payments themselves will put downward pressure on the price of Bitcoin. Weird.

India likely to increase chip factory subsidy fund

The $9.1 billion India set aside to attract semiconductor manufacturing to its shores has largely been allocated, and the agency that oversees it will therefore seek more funds.

S Krishnan, secretary of India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, said on Saturday he intends to ask New Delhi for extra funds as ₹70,000 crore ($8.4 billion) of the ₹76,000 crore ($9.1 billion) allocated for the "India semiconductor mission" has already been committed.

The mission sees India provide up to half of the cost of establishing semiconductor manufacturing and design facilities, and is hoped to kickstart the creation of local fabs and other chipmaking plants. To date, the scheme has scored successes such as a joint plan from an Indian industrial conglomerate and Taiwanese foundry Powerchip to build a wafer fab.

It's unclear how much extra money Krishnan thinks the scheme will need. The Register observes that India's scheme is small compared to the subsidies offered by the US and the European Union, both of which top $50 billion, and is yet to attract a major established chipmaker.

Samsung strike starts today

Samsung workers will today commence a general strike expected to last three days. The industrial action, announced last week, followed a largely token protest in early June that failed to yield changes to working conditions or pay.

The Samsung Electronics National Labor Union last week called for staff to rally outside Samsung offices, and also alleged efforts to disrupt the strike are already under way.

Asian nations to link fast payment schemes

The central banks of India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand last week agreed to link their local instant payment services (IPS). Assisted by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the partner nations completed a comprehensive blueprint for phase three of Project Nexus – the effort aimed at connecting IPSes. Nexus is designed to standardize the way domestic instant payment schemes connect to one another. Rather than an IPS operator building custom connections for every new country to which it connects, the operator only needs to make one connection to Nexus. This single connection would allow the IPS to reach all other countries in the network.

APAC Dealbook

Deals, alliances, and acquisitions we spotted across the region last week included:

  • Japan's Hitachi Construction Machinery moved its on-prem VMware implementation into Oracle Cloud, bringing approximately 500 virtual servers and 100 databases to Oracle Cloud VMware Solution and Oracle Exadata Database Service on OCI.
  • Motorola Solutions acquired Australia-based Noggin – a global provider of cloud-based business continuity planning, operational resilience and critical event management software. The deal will bolster Motorola's emergency coordination solutions. Terms were not discussed.
  • PDG last Thursday launched Phase One of its datacenter campus in Johor, Malaysia. Fifty-two megawatts of capacity was switched on, with 98 more to come. Phase One was built in just a year.
  • Cisco signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore's Home Team Science and Technology Agency, under which the two orgs will collaborate in the research and development of 5G and AI technologies to digitally transform public safety, security and network operations in the island nation.


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