Hong Kong to tighten crypto-currency rules: In the city’s ever-evolving digital currency scene, exchanges and traders will now be put under the oversight of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). Local media reports indicate investment funds with more than 10% of their assets made up of crypto-currencies will require a license. The SFC made some initial statements on this in November, but if confirmed, it would represent a ramp-up of regulatory rules.

More on Marshall Islands’ crypto-currency:
A report from Bloomberg classifies the Marshall Islands’ crypto project as both a speculative move against financial isolation and also a unique product of the country’s geopolitical situation. The controversial project, known as SOV or Sovereign, that almost led to a vote of no confidence for President Hilda Heine, is a desperate “get-rich-quick scheme to cope with rising seas.”

HTC Exodus1 blockchain phone sees first wave of shipments: Tech reviewers may have been rather underwhelmed by the HTC Exodus1 blockchain phone offering – although it does have plenty of novelty value – but HTC Exodus1 is now shipping its blockchain phone. Purchases of the phone can be made with Litecoin, Bitcoin or Ethereum cryptos and it comes with a Zion crypto wallet, runs dApps, along with cryptokitties. Last week, Korean competitor Samsung has already denied it will be doing something similar with crypto and its smartphones, despite reports to the contrary.

Ripple starts UAE-to-Asia remittances: According to Reuters, the UAE Exchange Finablr has partnered with Ripple to start cross-border remittances to Asia using blockchain. Asia reportedly received close to $613 billion in global remittances last year, with much of that coming through foreign exchange branches but a growing chunk is being transferred via websites and apps with a significant chunk arriving from the Middle East. The new Ripple initiative will commence in Q1 2019.

Wall coins, coming to a border near you?: An Ohio Republican congressman has reportedly offered to fund US President Trump’s proposed Mexican border wall using crypto-currencies. Ohio Republican Congressman Warren Davidson told NPR about his “Buy a Brick, Build a Wall” idea. “You could do with this sort of, like, crowdfunding site,” said Davidson. “Or you could even do blockchain, and you could have wall coins.” Where do we sign up?