Chinese regulators continue a crackdown on crypto-related activities and crypto mining. On June 2, regulators in Sichuan told cryptocurrency mining companies to move out of the province after the rainy season ends in September. Three days later, a slew of famous cryptocurrency accounts were blocked on microblogging site Weibo. Meanwhile, officials across China are handing out free money to promote the state-backed digital yuan, hoping to convince people to adopt the national digital currency.
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 June 2 to June 8.
- Local regulators told crypto miners in China’s Sichuan province on June 2 to make plans to move their operations elsewhere after September, sources told TechNode. Sichuan is the second major mining hub in the country to crack down on crypto mining, after Inner Mongolia. (TechNode)
- A Chinese company known as Zhongke Shenglong released a new Ethereum mining chip on Sunday. The machine has a hash rate of about 65 megahash/second (MH/s) and power consumption of 30 watts. Hash rate is a measure of computing power in the blockchain networks. The Beijing-based company was founded in 2009 and is a newcomer to crypto mining. According to the company’s website, the core members of its team have worked in China’s prestigious science institutes Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University. (Wu Blockchain)
- On June 5, at least 15 famous cryptocurrency influencers were blocked on China’s microblogging platform Weibo, a step some viewed as evidence of China’s crackdown on crypto-related activities. The platform said these accounts “violated laws and regulations,” without providing details. The takedown targeted accounts from different parts of the crypto industry: traders, media outlets, miners, and wallets. (Coindesk)
- A cybersecurity company founded by a group of former Chinese police officers predicted in a Friday WeChat post that the country might issue new laws in the next three months to define criminal actions involving cryptocurrencies. The law might include a specific section to regulate over-the-counter cryptocurrency trading, private, and off-exchange trading activities. (ChainAudit, in Chinese.)
- On Tuesday, two top Chinese government agencies jointly issued a directive to increase support for blockchain technology and applications. The directive, issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Cyberspace Administration of China, said the government plans to set up an industry-wide consortium blockchain, a semi-private blockchain with a controlled user group, and incubate a series of “leading blockchain companies” and “top blockchain products.” (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, in Chinese)
- Chinese blockchain company Nervos is building a cross-chain bridge to connect with Cardano, the world’s sixth-largest cryptocurrency. The bridge will let people use both chains’ native tokens interchangeably and could be a major boost for the Chinese company’s user numbers while giving Cardano developers access to Nervos development tools, which are oriented towards the growing field of decentralized finance. (TechNode)
Further digital yuan push
- City officials of Beijing and Shanghai handed out free digital yuan using lotteries on June 5. This is Shanghai’s first time trying out digital yuan. These giveaways are part of a nationwide promotion on digital yuan across Chinese cities. China’s capital city offered RMB 40 million ($6.2 million) to city residents, while Shanghai offered RMB 19.2 million. (Mpaypass, in Chinese)
- Bank of Communications, one of China’s top 10 commercial banks, paid salaries to its employees in the Hainan branch, in digital yuan, local media reported on June 4. Chinese top banks in the southern city of Shenzhen have been testing digital yuan among select employees since last August. (Nanguo Dushibao, in Chinese)
- Qingdao, a northeastern coastal city, hopes to become the first city to integrate digital yuan into the city’s public services. As one of the 11 cities selected by the government to test the digital yuan, the city promotes an app that allows people to use digital yuan for daily activities, such as commuting, shopping, and buying sightseeing tickets. (Chainnews, in Chinese)
- The southwestern metropolis Chengdu is teaching nursing home elders to use digital yuan. Taikang community, an old-age care facility run by top 10 insurance company Taikang Life Insurance, is one of the region’s first nursing homes to promote digital yuan. Chinese media visited the community on June 2 and reported elders paying for meals with digital yuan, the first such transactions in the community. (China.com.cn, in Chinese)