Sentiment in China plummeted when WeChat searches for bitcoin fell 7% this week, while searches for “bear market” rose 102%. One trend that remained strong was NFT-related, with NFTs seeing an 86% increase in WeChat searches over a seven-day period. Token sales were another hot spot that saw interest in Casper Labs soar after signups with CoinList topped 100,000 on global platforms.
A well-known token sale from China was the DAO-as-a-Service platform Dora Factory. The DoraHacks backed project took place on March 21st with a public token launch with listings on OKEx, Gate and MXC. DoraHacks is known for hosting developer events and one of the most active blockchain developer communities based out of China. The team will run a global hackathon series in 2021, landing in regions such as Singapore, the US, Germany and India.
Real world events are back for the spring season
Cointelegraph China launched its Hot Trends 2021 event in Chengdu on Thursday and welcomed a range of projects and industry participants to the southern city. The speeches and panels of the event will examine the sustainability of trends such as DeFi and NFTs. Chengdu has long been a major city in China’s cryptocurrency mining industry due to its low cost of electricity and developed infrastructure.
Solana and Serum held a DeFi Night in Shanghai on March 20th to further promote their ecosystem in Asia. Speakers from Aave, Chainlink, Multicoin Capital, Raydium and The Graph also attended the event. The arms race in the ecosystem has become important as key players like BSC, Huobi (Heco), OKEx (OKExChain) and Solana try to win their share of the large development pool in cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Hangzhou. FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried gave a video keynote speech at the event.
Digital yuan tests
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority began working with the People’s Bank of China’s Digital Currency Research Institute to test the technology that would enable the use of digital yuan for cross-border payments, according to Yu Wai-man. Yu is the current managing director of HKMA. On March 19, it was announced that these financial services are expected to be launched in the second half of the year.
Also on March 19, under the guidance of the CPC Working Committee, several state-owned companies began using the digital yuan as a payment method for charging electric vehicles in the new Xiongan region, near Beijing. These companies included a sub-division of the PBoC, the Bank of China, China Telecom and the China State Grid. Linking the digital yuan to clean energy initiatives is fast becoming a priority for government organizations, especially with the announcement that the new five-year plan will target carbon neutrality by 2060.
On March 23, the Chinese state-owned media company Sina reported that the six largest state-owned banks have started testing wallet services for the digital yuan. Banks could whitelist testers who can then download the mobile app and set up a sub-account. Phase 1 of the official pilot project should start next month
Ant Group blockchain paper
Ant Group, a major financial subsidiary of Alibaba, released a white paper on blockchain and government services on March 17th. This paper explained how government organizations can use information technology, digital identity solutions and blockchain infrastructure to deliver and manage data. Ant Group had a difficult time after its eagerly awaited public offering was canceled due to concerns about electronic loan interest rates.
Money laundering case studies
Finally, on March 21, the PBoC and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (China’s highest law enforcement agency) published six cases of modern money laundering methods, most of which involved bitcoin and cryptocurrency. In one of the cases, a convicted person received two years in prison and a fine for illegally fundraising through an unlicensed digital currency trading platform.
This new weekly roundup of news from mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong attempts to curate the top industry news, including influential projects, changes in the regulatory landscape, and corporate blockchain integrations.