China’s dino-banks are starting to look more favorably upon blockchain. Huobi is charging towards blockchain-powered finance, and wants to help people save cryptocurrencies. A Chinese startup has sold its public blockchain solution to a provincial government, and Vechain wants to sell blockchain for the sustainability of supply chains. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies are being used to transfer money from China overseas.

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The world of blockchain moves fast, and nowhere does it move faster than China. Here’s what you need to know about China’s block-world in the week of August 17-23.

The big boys

  • Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, two of China’s big four banks, have reportedly locked down blockchain patents for functions including data management and terminal consensus algorithms. It is unclear whether the patents are related to the digital yuan or new platforms. It seems China’s dinosaur banking industry is making blockchain moves. (NBD.com, in Chinese)
  • Meanwhile, a dino-bank industry association endorsed blockchain-powered consumer lending. The China Banking Association issued a report on blockchain for consumer finance, saying the technology should be used to improve the industry’s workflows. (China Banking Association)
  • The Blockchain Services Network said on Sunday that the next update of its system will take place on October 31. The BSN will integrate 9-15 public chains on the international version of its platform, and launch a testnet for smart contracts. (BSN official Medium account)

READ MORE: BSN says decoupling is to meet compliance rules in China

  • Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi launched a global alliance to develop decentralized finance (DeFi), jumping into a hot sector for investors. (PR newswire)

New products

  • Huobi also launched crypto savings accounts. For now, they are limited to 1,000 individuals. Residents of China, Japan, the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, and Germany cannot apply for the accounts, for the time being. Coinbase started a similar offering for stablecoin USD Coin in October 2019, and for Dai coins in late July. (Cointelegraph)
  • Conflux, a Beijing blockchain startup, agreed to “revamp” Hunan’s government data management systems and build a training and research lab at the province’s top university. (TechNode)
  • Chinese blockchain provider Vechain launched a sustainability solution for companies looking to digitize their supply chain sustainability solutions. Built on Vechain’s blockchain-as-a-service platform, ToolChain, the new product promises to improve supple chain tracing and build consumer trust through transparency. (Yahoo Finance)

READ MORE: INSIGHTS | Markets, not floods, will drown bitcoin miners

The miners: The global bitcoin hashrate, a measure of mining activity in the bitcoin network, suffered a 15% decrease last week as mines in Sichuan were hit by floods and power outages. China’s southwestern province accounts for more than half of the global hashrate. As of Sunday, the network has mostly bounced back, with the hashrate at over 90% as of Monday, compared to the last high before the rainstorms on August 16. (Coindesk)

The crypto flight: Over $50 billion in cryptocurrencies have been moved from Chinese wallets to other countries in the last year, a report by Chainanalysis said. The report suggests that Chinese investors are looking to park their funds elsewhere, and are looking to cryptocurrency due to restrictions on owning foreign currencies. (CNBC)

Food for thought

Dragon City: Chinese developers are building a distinctly Chinese virtual city on the world’s largest Ethereum-powered virtual plot of land. Dubbed Dragon City, the blockchain-based city draws heavily on Chinese history and myths. Users are experimenting with monetization models, such as renting virtual landmarks to other users. (Decrypt)

Hong Kong and DCEP: China plans to test the digital yuan in Hong Kong. But the city’s currency is pegged to the US dollar. This puts the city at an uncomfortable position, argues Bloomberg’s Andy Mukherjee: it could be the first battleground for the two currencies. (Bloomberg Opinion)

Eliza Gkritsi

Eliza is TechNode's blockchain and fintech reporter. When she isn't obsessing over the rise of distributed ledger technology in China, she helps with editing.