Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the industry’s most important developments.
Thailand’s crypto UBI
Thailand has a national airdrop in the works under which every citizen 16 years and older receives 10,000 baht ($285).
According to local news reports on Aug. 30, Thailand’s ruling Pheu Thai party will consult the Bank of Thailand in developing a “utility type 1” token necessary for the airdrop. The solution will be a Know Your Customer blockchain-based infrastructure that sources say will take at least six months to roll out. A 100 baht fee will also be charged per user for the KYC process. In addition, the solution will require the approval of the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission.
Real estate developer and crypto investor Srettha Thavisin was elected as Thailand’s prime minister on Aug. 22. During campaigning, Thavisin promised to give each person 10,000 baht in basic income stimulus via “digital currency” if elected into power. In 2021, Thavisin’s firm, Sansiri, purchased a 15% stake in Thai asset tokenization provider X Spring for 1.6 billion baht ($45.7 million).
The Thailand Development and Research Institute said funding for the Thavisin Airdrop will come from tax collection in the 2024 fiscal year. The total budget estimate for the project is 560 billion baht ($16 billion).
The airdrop will not be equivalent to fiat baht funds, however. Users reportedly can only spend the digitized tokens within four kilometers of their residence. The tokens will only be valid for a period of six months and cannot be converted into cash or used to settle debts. Thavisin’s government is expected to assume office by the end of September.
Thailand’s incoming prime minister, Srettha Thavisin (Twitter)
Delio users’ assets slashed in half
More bad news is coming for users of troubled South Korean Bitcoin lender Delio.
According to local news reports on Aug. 30, the South Korean crypto lending giant, which holds over $1.2…