Our Man in Shanghai: Coinbase listing scorned, graphics cards seized, nostalgia coins rule
Coinbase and cryptocurrencies viewed cynically on Chinese social media, and news of a large mining GPU smuggling bust in Hong Kong.
It was a relatively quiet week in China’s blockchain space as events were overshadowed by the surge in the BTC price and the Coinbase direct listing in the U.S. Many locals reacted with surprise to the news, showing that exposure to cryptocurrencies is still relatively isolated in the world’s most populous country.
Many netizens responded skeptically to the Coinbase story, with news aggregation account “Jiemian” on Weibo calling Bitcoin a scam, highlighting its connection to terrorists, and encouraging investors to stick to China’s A-shares. (For a quick comparison, the Shanghai composite index is down 2.13% this year, while Bitcoin has a YTD return of over 116%.) Jiemian has over 10 million followers on Weibo, but caters to a more traditional audience. The takeaway here is that despite China’s aggressive adoption of DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment, also known as the digital yuan), other digital payments, and internet technology, cryptocurrency acceptance remains relatively isolated.
Some experts on China’s blockchain industry spoke to Cointelegraph regarding DCEP on April 10th, discussing how the digital yuan has affected the space. Kevin Shao, co-founder of Bitrise Capital, summed up the situation by stating that “overall, China’s digital currency still serves the central bank’s monetary policy and monetary functions.” It’s safe to say that the rapid DCEP advancement has little cross-over with the country’s active blockchain space, and probably will remain independent for the foreseeable future.
While all that was going on, volumes were spiking on cryptocurrency exchanges around the world. Huobi, China’s largest exchange by liquidity, experienced a wave of trading on more established tokens. The top seven most traded on Thursday were BTC, DOGE, ETH, XRP, FIL, TRX and BCH. All of these projects have roots in previous bull runs, showing that nostalgia is not lost on Chinese investors.
Graphics cards seized by Hong Kong Customs
Customs in Hong Kong have busted a smuggling operation involving nearly 300 graphics cards, which are suspected to be Nvidia CMP 30HX models and worth about 2 million RMB, or $300,000. There were no labels on the front of the graphics cards, and this particular model comes without a video output port, and is built exclusively for cryptocurrency mining. According to a source, this is the first time that Hong Kong Customs has seized graphics cards smuggled for the purpose of mining.
The state of media blockchain content
Finally, in policy news, The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television issued standards for blockchain-related media content. The standard system is intended to promote healthy and sustainable content pertaining to the use of blockchain in industries such as auditing systems, business processes, food safety and management. The State Administration is very proactive with its standards, detailing how technologies, trends, and other themes should be portrayed in the media.
This weekly roundup of news from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong attempts to curate the industry’s most important news, including influential projects, changes in the regulatory landscape, and enterprise blockchain integrations.
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Author: Ben Yorke