Shenzhen started a second digital yuan lottery just days after Suzhou concluded its own, while a Beijing cafe has started accepting the digital currency. Ebang plans to launch a crypto exchange in the first quarter of 2021, its peer Canaan is venturing into mining with an unlikely partner. One Chinese exchange is reportedly insolvent; Huobi and OKex share prices in Hong Kong started the new year with big gains. A large Chinese EV maker apologized for announcing that it would accept Bitcoin payments.
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 Dec. 29 – Jan. 4.
Digital yuan rollout
- Shenzhen will hold a second digital yuan lottery to distribute China’s central bank digital currency, the digital yuan. Registration took placed from Jan. 1 to 4 for residents of the city in southern Guangdong province. The system will pick 100,000 people to receive “red envelopes” containing RMB 200 ($31) worth of the digital currency, double the amount given in the two previous lotteries, redeemable between Jan. 7 to 17. (Shenzhen government WeChat, in Chinese)
- Data released by the Suzhou government, which conducted in late December a lottery to distribute the digital yuan, showed that 55% of the funds were used offline, and the remaining 45% were used for online transactions on JD.com and other e-commerce platforms. (Sina Finance)
- The first place in Beijing to accept the digital yuan is Mancat Cafe in southwestern Fengtai district; whitelisted individuals participating in digital yuan trials can now pay at the coffee shop using the digital currency. (Sina Finance Weibo)
READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: We got some digital yuan!
Rig makers expand
- Cryptocurrency mining rig manufacturer Ebang said Thursday it will start testing a new crypto exchange in the first quarter of 2021. The Nasdaq-listed rig maker’s share price has risen 17% to $7.14 since the announcement. (Ebang statement)
- Mining equipment maker Canaan, which has been struggling to regain momentum after a short report released in 2020, is partnering with The9, a Shanghai-based gaming distributor to launch a mining business. The9 brought World of Warcraft to China until the game’s publisher, Blizzard, sold the license to NetEase in 2005. (The9 statement)
- Chinese cryptocurrency exchange FCoin fired all of its employees and will be moving to a decentralized model, the largest exchange bankruptcy in China according to reporter Colin Wu. (Wu Blockchain Twitter)
- Shares of exchanges Huobi and Okex have made significant gains as soon as markets opened in Hong Kong on Jan. 4 for the first day in 2021. At the time of writing, Huobi’s stock is up 62%, and OKex surged 21%.
Carmaker’s Bitcoin misstep
A joint venture by state-owned EV maker NIO and state-owned legacy carmaker GAC announced on Dec. 31 that it would start accepting Bitcoin payments for its cars—a first for a major Chinese company. The carmaker quickly apologized on the same day for not fully considering and getting approval from financial regulators for the move. (China News Network Weibo, in Chinese)