Ant Group employees are reportedly using Alipay to conduct transactions in digital yuan; one of China’s big four banks opened applications for digital RMB wallets to customers in Shenzhen. Authorities in Iran shut down the operations of Chinese cryptocurrency miners. Binance and Poly Network join hands in China’s the latest cross-chain venture.

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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 Jan. 12-19.

Digital yuan progress

  • Ant Group employees can use the Alipay app for digital yuan transactions in select locations, including the Lujiazui district in Shanghai. The fintech giant is working with the People’s Bank of China to develop infrastructure to support the digital currency. (Mobile Payment News, in Chinese)
  • The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, one of the country’s big four banks, is accepting applications from customers in Shenzhen who want to open digital yuan wallets. (China Banking News)

Chinese miners in Iran

Iranian authorities halted all cryptocurrency mining operations operated by Chinese people on Jan. 14. Chinese crypto entrepreneurs flocked to Iran during the Bitcoin surge to take advantage of its cheap electricity.

An Iranian tech entrepreneur, Nasim Tavakol, tweeted on Jan. 8, “The Chinese have built a 175 MW bitcoin mining farm in the Rafsanjan Special Economic Zone,” (translation via Twitter), and added the mine’s coordinates. (Wu Blockchain, in Chinese)

More interoperability

Binance and Poly Network are launching cross-chain interoperability. Binance Smart Chain, the cryptocurrency exchange’s decentralized finance-oriented public blockchain, and Poly, founded by Neo’s Da Hongfei, are the latest two blockchain projects to try cross-chain transactions and data exchange.

READ MORE: Binance, Poly Network to launch cross-chain interoperability

Conflux lands $5 million grant

Public blockchain startup Conflux landed a $5 million research grant from the local government in Shanghai’s Xuhui district. Conflux is one of few decentralized chains to work with Chinese authorities. It received funding from Shanghai authorities in 2019 for a research lab, and scored a contract to revamp government data architecture in Hunan province in August 2020. (CoinDesk)

READ MORE: Public blockchain Conflux lands second government deal

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.