In the past few weeks, central banks have spoken out about Bitcoin, global demand for BTC has fallen and crypto-currency exchange Animoca has secured a HK$200,000 seed funding round. The market has responded, with BTC prices dropping by 20% over the past month. There has been some good news with the price drop and central banks, however, as a new report has been launched in Taiwan, along with news from Japan that the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) will be investigating Bitcoin-related products.
This week, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has requested that cryptocurrency exchanges in the country be closed by 30 September, and Chinese exchanges have complied. Bitcoin searches are also down this week after a visit to HK by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), who is said to have been “grilling” cryptocurrency exchanges about their operations. The PBoC’s visit comes after it last month published a paper on cryptocurrency that condemned the risk they presented to China’s financial stability.
This weekly round-up of news from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong seeks to gather key industry news, including influential projects, regulatory changes and blockchain business integrations.
Chinese repression: Week 7
The summer of repression continued this week, and it has now been seven weeks since the first announcement on the 18th. Mai has assumed that virtual currencies are risky investments and financial institutions should not provide services for them. Apparently, the crackdown is having the desired effect, as public interest in this asset class is waning. Last weekend, the number of searches on WeChat for the word bitcoin reached a 90-day low, but this trend was also reflected in Google searches around the world.
This week, the central bank played the role of aggressor by issuing a new credit note on July 6. posted an announcement on its website stating that it and other relevant institutions are prohibited from offering customers virtual currency services directly or indirectly. The announcement also states that institutions may not offer services such as sales pitches, commercial advertisements, marketing campaigns and payment recommendations for commercial activities related to virtual currencies. As usual, comments on Weibo were strongly in favor of regulation, as there is still an active share of traditional investors on Chinese social media.
Jack Ma’s foundation moves to
On 1. In July, game industry giant NFT Animoca Brands announced a $50 million investment by Blue Pool Capital. Founded in 2015 by tech entrepreneur Jack Ma, Blue Pool Capital manages part of his $52.1 billion fortune. Blue Pool Capital also manages a portion of the assets of Joe Tsai, who is currently an executive vice president at Alibaba. Animoca Brands develops and publishes NFT games such as REVV Motorsport and The Sandbox.
Minors in cash
The BTC mining hashrate is still down about 50% as Chinese miners remain on the sidelines or look to move elsewhere. This led to an adjustment in the complexity of bitcoin’s consensus algorithm, simplifying block mining by about 28%. As a result, the remaining miners are about 50% more profitable, according to the Cointelegraph report.
Many people, including Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz, have talked about the positive effects of the current restriction. Nick Spanos of Zap Finance explained that bitcoin is an unstoppable machine because the world’s second largest economy cannot crush, devalue and manipulate bitcoin. This conclusion by Mr. Spanos ignores the fact that China stands to gain very little socially from the dismantling or devaluation of bitcoin. Current policies are more focused on discouraging inefficient energy use and risky, speculative business behavior.
The 6th. In July, the Beijing Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau banned the China Blockchain Application Research Center. Specific reasons for the ban were not given, although the official response claimed that the research center was involved in illegal public activities. It is likely that the center dealt with cryptocurrencies and was deemed to be operating illegally given its official designation. It is very common for organizations to adopt formal names to increase their status in the industry.
The China Blockchain Application Research Center was established in November 2015 in Beijing by the Museum of Internet Finance and several other institutions in the blockchain industry. The company says it has established regional centers in Hangzhou, Shanghai, Silicon Valley and Dubai. In retrospect, their contribution to the industry was minimal, making the process more of a ceremony than anything else.
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