This weekly roundup of news from mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong attempts to curate the industry’s top news, including influential projects, changes in the regulatory landscape, and corporate blockchain integrations.
It was a tumultuous week in China outside of the financial world, with severe flooding in Zhengzhou and Typhoon In-Fa sweeping cities around Shanghai. Worse still, an outbreak of the COVID-19 delta variant in Nanjing now threatens to disrupt the relatively open lifestyle that residents have enjoyed since strict anti-infection measures brought the first outbreak under control in early 2020.
Trouble in paradise?
Within the Chinese financial world, government regulations for tech and education companies have shaken local stock markets, which may have played an indirect role in the sharp rebound in cryptocurrency prices. The reminder that regulators can suddenly smash an industry could damage A-share investor confidence and move more money back into alternative investments like Bitcoin. In any case, there is a lot on the government plate, so cryptocurrency shouldn’t be a huge focus these days.
Sell the rumors in advance
Volumes certainly supported this trend as Huobi and OKEx posted gains for the second week in a row. Despite rumors that further crackdowns on the exchanges could be pending, things were calm on the regulatory front. The platform tokens for both OKEx and Huobi have made an impressive recovery. HT, which had fallen around 80% since mid-May, suddenly rebounded around 45%, making investors question whether the worst regulatory moves are behind them. Last but not least, the rumors are being priced in more and more at this point, so that one has less to fear from new announcements.
As one of the catalysts for the news, Huobi hinted at their upcoming PrimePool, which will allow users to mine the tokens of new projects using HT or other tokens. The Axie token AXS remained a popular asset to trade as it stayed in the top 5 on Huobi for most of the week. NFT gaming hasn’t really seen a real boom in China, although projects like Polygon are still actively driving the metaverse trend in the region.
Wipe the slate
On July 27th, Huobi announced its China-based company had been dissolved. With almost all business being relocated overseas, this decision could be a step to break away from Chinese regulators. Huobi stated that it was the company registered in Beijing in 2013 and not the current operating company of Huobi Global. According to the same article, OKEx is also in the process of dissolving a previously used registered company.
With miners and exchanges now largely overseas and beyond Beijing’s control, future guidelines can only target retail and cryptocurrency usage. Speaking of the possibility of a total ban, Bobby Lee, who founded one of the earliest bitcoin exchanges in China, said: it could happen in 4-5 years. Lee is now CEO of wallet company Ballet and remains an active figure in the cryptocurrency space.
In search of greener pastures
Binances CZ revealed in an interview with SCB 10X that he is looking for a new Binance CEO whom he hopes will have a “very strong regulatory background”. CZ first announced its departure earlier this year when it said it hopes to step down as CEO over the next two to five years to focus fully on developing the BNB and Binance smart chain ecosystem.
Done in Hangzhou
This developing tech region of Hangzhou was the stage when the World Blockchain Conference was held on July 24th and 25th. This is one of the bigger events on the blockchain calendar and with an emphasis on blockchain technology and technical development it has been supported by local government organizations. The event was preceded by a lot of hype due to digital keynotes by speakers such as Vitalik Buterin and Sam Bankman-Fried. However, the close proximity of Typhoon In-Fa resulted in lower voter turnout and more subdued activity. Buterin laid out his future vision for Ethereum and drew an ambitious picture of the coming developments. A number of projects hosted side events in Hangzhou, including the leading DeFi wallet ImToken and the smart contract protocol Avalanche.
Fill it up with CBDCs
Shenzhen residents can now use the e-CNY on buses and subways to a story on People.cn. Citizens are encouraged to actively use the central bank’s digital currency in public transport for so-called “green” travel. Citizens scan the code in the local transport app and scan it when entering or exiting the vehicle or station. At the same time, citizens can top up their local tickets with the e_CNY.
The President of ASI Rich Checkan will not warmly welcome this news, who suggested earlier this week that CBDCs were “invented by Satan himself in Hell”. His strong words are likely aimed at countries like China, where government plays a strong role in both financial institutions and the technology sector.