Authorities in Sichuan could put more pressure on crypto mining activities as they look to achieve sustainability goals set by the central government. A new token dubbed Losercoin tapped into retail investors’ feeling of always being left behind. Dalian pushes ahead with B2B applications for the digital yuan, while Hong Kong looks into cross-border transactions using the central bank-backed digital currency.

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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 May 11-18.

The crypto mining crackdown?

  • Miners in southwest China, including Sichuan, could be under greater than normal pressure from regulators, as provincial authorities pursue carbon neutrality goals. On May 16, major Chinese crypto mining pools saw their hashrate fall by around 20%, in part because of inspections from government authorities. Hashrate is a measure of computing power on the Bitcoin network. Usually, during the wet summer months, Sichuan accounts for around 30% of China’s Bitcoin hashrate. (Wu Blockchain, in Chinese)
  • On May 15, state-owned news agency Xinhua criticized the latest crypto bull run, and called for more regulation. The article said that the industry’s “chaos” increasingly “threatens” the wealth of citizens, citing examples of small investors who were scammed out of their money. (Xinhua)

The losercoin

A new cryptocurrency looking to own failure is picking up steam in China. Losercoin, the native token of decentralized exchange LoserSwap, is a project initiated by a team that describes itself as “two poor guys” from rural China, who “lost a ton of money” in crypto trading, according to its website.

The founders appear to have tapped into a rich vein of Chinese investors who feel like losers, promising that they don’t plan on taking advantage of them through pump and dump tactics or rug pulls.

On Losercoin’s fan website, a post titled “How to know you are a loser” includes “loving cheap or free items such as LOWB,” and, “Always feel like you are not fitting in; you always lose money when everyone else is making money” (CoinDesk’s translation). LOWB is the ticker for Losercoin.

The hashtags “loser coin” and “LOWB” have been viewed 17 million times on China’s Twitter-like social media platform Weibo as of the time of writing, peaking around May 11. (CoinDesk)

But the losers’ wins were short lived: When the hashtags were trending on Weibo, the coin’s price rose, but has since dropped below its launch price, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

The digital yuan

  • The Postal Savings Bank of China, along with two local companies, launched China’s first platform for B2B e-CNY transactions in Dalian, a city in the northeast. China Construction Bank has also set up a digital RMB-enabled shipping platform in the city, which vessel managers can use to pay for fuel, food, and other necessities. (Tianjian.com, in Chinese)
  • On May 8, a branch of the Public Security Bureau in Changsha paid employees’ salaries using the digital currency. (Digital Coin Research Society, in Chinese)
  • The Hong Kong Monetary Authority told Bloomberg that they are in talks with the Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China to expand joint trials for the digital yuan, including cross-border transactions. (Bloomberg)

READ MORE: Digital yuan trials for Hong Kong, JD.com: Blockheads

The exchanges

Huobi Group, parent company of Huobi crypto exchange, launched a $100 million venture capital fund to invest in blockchain startups, particularly in the fields of decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). (Decrypt)

Did Tencent plug Bitcoin?

A WeChat article by Tencent’s Research Institute called on authorities to explore the inclusion of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in China’s foreign exchange reserves, China blockchain maven Colin Wu reported. The Institute deleted the article in less than 24 hours, Wu wrote on Twitter. (Wu Blockchain Twitter)

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.