Chinese officials continue to crack down on crypto mining and trading. The government of Sichuan province shut down a slew of crypto mining centers, while the country’s central bank ordered major banks in China to cut off funding to crypto traders. During JD.com’s 618 shopping festival, 130,000 people spent RMB 21 million worth of digital yuan on the platform as the Chinese government continues to promote 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 16 to June 22.
Crypto mining and trading shutdowns
- On June 18, the government of Sichuan province ordered 26 cryptocurrency mining centers to shut down amid a review of electricity usage and financial risks posed by the cryto-mining industry. Officials ordered power providers to cut electricity to the mining centers. The move follows similar governments crackdowns in othe other popular mining hubs, including Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang. (Yicai, in Chinese)
- China’s central bank ordered the country’s major financial institutions and mobile payment providers to cut funding channels for off-the-counter cryptocurrency trading. The People’s Bank of China said in a Monday statement that it met with a group of major Chinese banks and asked them to prohibit peer-to-peer crypto trading. The banks include the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China, the Construction Bank of China, Postal Savings Bank of China, the Industrial Bank, and mobile payments app Alipay. (The Block)
Crypto trading startup
- Amber Group, a cryptocurrency trading startup based in Hong Kong, has closed its $100 million Series B. Coinbase Ventures, a previous investor, participated in the latest round, which also attracted new investors such as China Renaissance, Tiger Brokers, Tiger Global Management, and Arena Holdings. The startup initially targeted institutional investors by providing investment advisory services. It has since expanded its service to individual investors and launched a trading app in late 2020. (TechCrunch)
Blockchain data platforms
- The Chinese Association of Auto Manufacturers launched a data platform built on blockchain technology on June 18 at the China Auto Forum. The Vehicle Data Blockchain Platform will allow car companies to store, exchange, and trade data. Companies can also trade algorithms on the platform. (CAAM, in Chinese)
- Chinese consumers spent RMB 21 million worth of digital yuan on JD.com during the 618 shopping festival. One hundred thirty thousand people placed 180,000 orders using the digital currency during an 18-day shopping period that began on June 1. The online retailer started accepting digital yuan in December 2020. Since then, more than 450,000 consumers have used the digital yuan to on the platform. JD.com said 70% of shoppers are in the 30 to 40 age group. (MPayPass, in Chinese)
- Two Chinese banks have begun allowing people to convert between cash and digital yuan at ATMs in their Beijing branches. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has enabled this function at 3,000 ATMs in Beijing, and the Agricultural Bank of China at 10 ATMs in Wangfujing, a central shopping area of Beijing. (Xinhua Finance, in Chinese)