Crypto Exchange KuCoin Confirms December Deadline for Removal of Chinese Traders

Crypto Exchange KuCoin Confirms December Deadline for Removal of Chinese Traders

The Chinese government is making progress in its mission to eradicate cryptocurrencies from its economy.

The move by the government has prompted companies to distance themselves from cryptocurrency-backed transactions in mainland China to avoid any rift with Beijing.

One of such companies, KuCoin, whose popularity originated in China, has told its mainland Chinese users to leave its platform.

Tougher Checks to Comply With Chinese Laws

KuCoin announced that its Chinese users have until December 31 to move their funds to other platforms. The crypto exchange explained that it is looking to “protect the interest and safety of its users.

KuCoin said all Chinese residents on its platform would need to send their funds elsewhere.

The announcement by KuCoin came after the Peoples’ Bank of China (PBOC) sent out a directive asking several other agencies to band together and outlaw crypto transactions of any kind. The PBOC’s statement has already sent out a firestorm, with crypto companies leaving China and even traditional tech companies cutting ties with crypto.

Similarly, the e-commerce giant Alibaba confirmed last week that it would stop selling any crypto-related items on its platform. Items ranging from tutorial videos, mining equipment, and more will be blocked from Alibaba’s platform going forward.

No Way Back for Chinese Users This Time

KuCoin explained that it has always looked to comply with regulations from the Chinese government. The company added that it conducted a “technical self-inspection” on September 24 – just days after the PBOC’s announcement came out. The inspection was to ensure that its business complied with China’s regulatory requirements.

This is not the first time the Chinese government will be cracking down on crypto companies and operations. The government first hit crypto with sanctions in 2017.

China’s new directive has had significant effects on its crypto space. News sources have reported that up to 18 crypto companies have left the country, many of whom will be leaving their customers stranded. While KuCoin is giving Chinese users till December, some other companies haven’t been so lenient.

CoinEx, another cryptocurrency exchange, announced last Thursday that it would close all Chinese users by October 31. Besides shuttering accounts of Chinese residents, CoinEx would also close accounts of customers with KYC details linked to mainland China. Chinese accounts on CoinEx with zero assets have already been disabled at press time.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

“More Rigid Policies Are Yet To Come,” Says Chinese Media While Beijing Subway Runs e-CNY Test

“More Rigid Policies Are Yet To Come,” Says Chinese Media While Beijing Subway Runs e-CNY Test

The Chinese media group Caixin Global published an editorial this week with the title, “It’s Time to Declare War on Cryptocurrency.”

The editorial talks about how no other country than China has been more determined to “put an end to speculative trading of digital currencies” as the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) instructed several financial institutions and payment services to stop providing crypto-related services.

The latest development in China cracking down on crypto mining and derivatives trading has more than 10,000 mining machines stopped in Yunnan.

The Bitcoin hash rate has already fallen quite drastically, sending the block time to 2010 levels representing the shutdown of Chinese miners. And these miners have already either moved or are in the process of moving overseas.

40% of the miners actually want to move outside China while 45% of the miners choose to continue mining and wait in China, and 14% of the miners have chosen to sell machines, as per Chinese publication Wu Blockchain’s survey of 409 crypto miners.

Amidst this crackdown, on Tuesday, Beijing Subway has launched a test of DCEP / e-CNY payment where users can scan their payment QR code for entry and exit.

Those who have activated ICBC’s digital RMB service can participate in the swipe and ride test via the Yilutongxing app, Beijing municipal travel app, within the 24 operating lines of Beijing Subway and 4 suburban railways.

This experiment will further extend to Beijing Subway and be used in multiple scenarios, including ticket sales and at gates.

It Ain’t Over!

According to Caixin’s article, the latest regulatory measures are the result of policymakers’ ever-growing understanding of the emerging risks associated with crypto and the country’s needs to better manage financial risks and to transition to a low-carbon economy.

“This is an unmistakable signal that more rigid policies are yet to come,” it said.

While the piece acknowledges that every time a cryptocurrency comes under regulatory pressure, “it always comes back even stronger than before,” it goes on to state that the Chinese government is serious this time, and speculators are advised to give up or risk going broke.

Overall, it is pretty clear that “cryptocurrency mania is fundamentally destructive,” and it should be “stamped out at all levels like doctors working to eradicate a virus.”

According to trader and economist Alex Kruger, “it clearly ain’t over, likely more actions to come, but do think the worst is priced in.”

Besides Caixin Global, Global Times also published a piece this week that states Bitcoin will only live underground and that virtual currencies are considered illegal currencies and illegal investment products.

Bitcoin was actually defined as a virtual commodity by the Central Bank of China in 2013. A few months ago, Li Bo, the deputy governor of PBOC, said Bitcoin should be used as investment tools or alternative investments.

This week, IMF President Kristalina Georgieva proposed to appoint Li Bo as vice president, effective August 23, 2021.

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Author: AnTy

Bitmain Discontinues Sales of Bitcoin Mining Gear Amid Chinese Crackdown

Bitmain Discontinues Sales of Bitcoin Mining Gear Amid Chinese Crackdown

Leading Bitcoin mining rig manufacturer Bitmain Technologies Ltd has reportedly stopped the sales of mining rigs following the Chinese crackdown on crypto mining.

Influx Of Secondhand Sellers Causes Bitmain To Stop Sales

The Beijing mining giant decided to halt sales of machines for spot delivery due to the high rate of secondhand Bitcoin miners selling mining machines in China. There’s been a 75% plunge in prices of top-tier mining rigs in China due to the influx of miners in the local market, Bloomberg reports. This comes amid a wider crackdown on the crypto market in China.

Bitmain has not revealed when it plans to resume sales of its mining rigs.

The Bitcoin network hash rate, a measure of its computational horsepower, has also declined as many Bitcoin miners in China leave the country.

According to Bitinfocharts, the Bitcoin network’s total hash rate has already fallen by more than 40% in less than 30 days. The hash rate is currently 91.2 exahashes per second (EH/s), close to half of its 171.4 EH/s high posted less than six weeks ago.

China’s Crackdown On Crypto Mining

Last month, the State Council of China, one of the highest government bodies in the country, declared that municipal authorities crackdown on Bitcoin mining and trading activities.

Ever since then, Chinese authorities have been under pressure to reduce the energy intensity of Bitcoin mining. This has led to the targeting and shutting down of Bitcoin mining plants.

Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Yunnan, and Qinghai regions have already ordered mining operations to cease. The most recent province to carry out this order is Sichuan. No less than 26 mines were closed last week, sending miners packing left and right.

These attempts by China to end cryptocurrency mining in different provinces across the country have forced miners to seek shelter in neighboring countries like Kazakhstan.

The US has also emerged as a prime destination for displaced Chinese crypto miners. Financial institutions in China are also being used by the State to stifle the crypto sector.

Last month authorities in China also ordered the country’s financial institutions to stop facilitating crypto transactions. This saw Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fall.

However, despite these measures to clamp down Bitcoin trading and investment in China, the country remains a global hub for the creation of Bitcoin and accounts for up to 75% of the world’s mining.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

NYSE-Listing Chinese Company BTCM Goes Overseas; Builds A Crypto Mining Center in Kazakhstan

NYSE-Listing Chinese Company BTCM Goes Overseas; Builds A Crypto Mining Center in Kazakhstan

BIT Mining is making an investment of RMB60 million (US$9.33 million) in a crypto mining data center in Kazakhstan, which is expected to have a power capacity of 100MW.

It has already started.

Over the past week, China banning Bitcoin trading and mining rattled the industry as it sent the prices crashing. But as we reported, the market also recognized that it is a massive opportunity to not only move outside China, putting an end to China controlling the Bitcoin narrative but also at the same time moving towards renewable sources.

It looks like things are already making a shift as Chinese miners look overseas following the latest crackdown.

BIT Mining Limited (BTCM), a Chinese company listed on NYSE, announced on Monday that it is making an investment of RMB60 million (US$9.33 million) in a cryptocurrency mining data center in Kazakhstan.

According to CBECI, in April 2020, China accounted for 65.08% of Bitcoin mining hash power, followed by the USA at 7.24%. Kazakhstan is in 4th place with a 6.17% share after Russia‘s 6.90% share.

BIT Mining will be jointly investing in a cryptocurrency mining data center in Kazakhstan in association with a Kazakhstan-based company. Once constructed, the total power capacity of the Kazakhstan Mining Data Center is expected to be 100MW.

The Company will hold an 80% equity interest in the Kazakhstan Mining Data Center, with the local partner holding 20%.

BIT Mining also entered into a two-service agreement with another Kazakhstan-based company to provide them with a comprehensive data center service package in the country.

With the service agreements entered into today, BIT Mining expects its total power capacity devoted to cryptocurrency mining in Kazakhstan to reach as high as 60MW eventually. Starting from July 1, 2021, the company will have access to a total power capacity of 20MW under the agreement.

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Author: AnTy

Hindenburg Research Shorts Chinese Bitcoin Mining Maker; Ebang Continues its Fundraising Spree

Hindenburg Research Shorts Chinese Bitcoin Mining Maker; Ebang Continues its Fundraising Spree

The short-seller argues Ebang makes “extraordinary claims” to be a market leader, which is “backed by no evidence,” resulting in EBON shares dumping.

Short-seller Hindenburg Research is shorting Chinese Bitcoin mining machine producer Ebang International Holdings. This sent the shares of the company (EBON) down 20% to $5.53. EBON shares have lost 63% of their value since the mid-March high.

Ebang made its debut on Nasdaq in June last year, and during this period, it has made three fundraising rounds, one in November and two in February this year alone, raking in $170 million in the last two.

According to Hindenburg, Ebang “claims” to be a leading bitcoin miner maker, but their research “indicates no evidence backs this extraordinary claim.” It further goes on to the point that ever since releasing its final miner in May 2019, its sales have been dwindling to near-zero, “delivering only 6,000 total miners in 1H20.”

The ongoing bull run has fueled a surge in fundraising in the crypto sector, which raised $2.6 billion in just three months, more than the amount raised in the entire last year.

Hindenburg has also been short on another Chinese blockchain company and took short positions in electric vehicle companies, including Nikola Corp, Lordstown Motors, insurer Clover Health, and Kandi Technologies Group Inc in the past year.

According to the firm, its research revealed that instead of using the capital proceeds to develop its business, Ebang has been moving the cash out of the company through “a series of opaque deals with insiders and questionable counterparties.”

Interestingly, this week, Ebang also announced the closing of its previously announced best-efforts follow-on public offering for the sale of 14 million units at a purchase price of US$6.10 per unit, for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately US$85.4 million.

The company intends to use its net proceeds to expand its crypto mining business and for the establishment and operation of the mining farms, crypto exchange, and general corporate purposes.

As we reported, Ebang announced the launch of its cryptocurrency exchange just this week, which Dong Hu, Chairman, and CEO of the company, said, “will not only expand the revenue sources from our cryptocurrency business but also optimize the development of our blockchain industry chain.”

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Author: AnTy

Top Chinese Bank Launches Testing for a Digital Yuan “Hardware Wallet” Card

Top Chinese Bank Launches Testing for a Digital Yuan “Hardware Wallet” Card

  • Top Chinese bank launches testing of its “hardware card wallet” for the digital yuan.
  • The card is currently testing Dongcheng District – targeting the elderly.
  • Beijing residents testing the CBDC can also use the wallet to pay for healthcare services.

A local news report, Xinhua Net, confirmed that the Postal Bank of China has launched its biometric hardware wallet card for the digital yuan. The card is still in its testing phase to provide Dongcheng District residents with the ability to pay and transact using the central bank’s digital currency.

The hardware wallet provides users with biometric security to spend their digital yuan using a one-tap system on selected stores. Once the transaction is complete, the card’s ink screen window displays the transaction amount and the wallet balance.

The new card focuses on giving the elderly a more efficient way to use the digital renminbi given the challenges they face with smartphones, Chen Yuejin, Chairman of the Postal Bank of China, said.

“With this card, it is much more convenient to enter and exit public places, and you can pay with just one touch. It is especially suitable for the elderly who have difficulty using smartphones.”

China is the leading country in testing and piloting projects supporting its digital yuan. In the past two years, the government has launched several pilot projects on its CBDC in Beijing and Shenzhen – recently disbursing over $3 million in ‘red envelopes’ to over 50,000 people, the largest pilot yet.

The expedited process of piloting the digital yuan forces central banks around the world to look into launching their own CBDCs to avoid falling behind with China. Despite several analysts touting the digital yuan to replace the dollar, Martin Chorzempa of Peterson Institute for International Economics’ believes there is a long road ahead still.

He believes Chinese electronic payment services lay the toughest roadblock for the digital yuan to become internationalized. Chorzempa said,

“A lot of people talk about (the digital yuan) being a driver of renminbi internationalization.”

“I think they have to beat Alipay and WeChat Pay in China before, I think, that they can make a dent in the U.S. dollar.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

More than 2,100 Bitcoin Mining Machines Auctioned by Chinese Local Court

More than 2,100 Bitcoin Mining Machines Auctioned by Chinese Local Court

Chinese local court has auctioned 2100 government seized Bitcoin mining machines.

The mining machine models on auction involved S9, S7, V9, T9+, Avalon 851, Avalon 6.01. of which there are more than 450 S9 units. These machines were seized from miners who were caught stealing electricity to mine Bitcoin and have been sentenced to up to 13 years in jail for that.

All the BTC seized were paid to the electricity company as compensation, reported cnLedger.

As for the mining machines, they were auctioned with a reserve price of only about 10,000 yuan ($15,000 USD) with a deposit of 2,000 yuan, and a price increase of 200 yuan.

The final price has been 702,600 yuan (about $108,850 USD) with hundreds of bidders looking to get their hands on the machines.

“The batch of mining machines has many models and different colors. It is not sure whether it can be used,” reads the rough translation of the special statement. It further says the bidder can see the samples on the spot with no guarantee from the court and “the buyer shall pick up the relevant items by himself at his own expense.”

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Author: AnTy

Chinese e-Commerce Giant JD.com to Accept Digital Yuan in the 2nd Round of Public Trial

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com said on Saturday that its fintech arm, JD Digits will accept digital yuan as payment for some products.

JD.com is China’s first virtual platform to accept the central bank digital currency, as part of an experimental giveaway of digital yuan to the citizens of Suzhou, according to the company’s post on its official WeChat account.

Under the trial, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the municipal government will issue a total of 20 million yuan ($3 million). 100,000 consumers selected through a lottery will be receiving 200 digital yuan “red envelopes”.

This will be the second such program after the PBOC issued 10 million yuan worth of digital currency to 50,000 selected customers in Shenzhen in October, South China’s Guangdong Province. It was the first time the trail of digital yuan went public after a series of internal tests.

Last month, PBOC Governor Yi Gang said over 2 billion yuan had been spent using the DCEP so far in 4 million transactions.

The new round of public trials of the central bank-backed sovereign digital currency involves a wider range of consumer and application scenarios compared to the first test.

Booming Digital Industry

As we reported, the central bank of China is also discussing the technical pilot testing of digital yuan for cross-border payments with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). The exact date of the launch is unknown but it will offer an additional payment option, said Eddie Yue, chief executive of HKMA. Yue said  on Friday,

“As the yuan is already in use in Hong Kong and the status of digital yuan is the same as cash in circulation, it will bring even greater convenience to Hong Kong residents and tourists from the Chinese mainland.”

The central bank governor also said on Monday that China will push forward the R&D of the digital yuan in a steady manner, launch pilot tests in an orderly manner, and improve its legal framework.

According to Pan Helin, executive director of the Digital Economy Research Institute at the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, 2021 will usher in an important period for the digital industry as the technologies have become more mature after several years of development. Pan told the Global Times,

“In recent years, China’s digital industry has been booming, and new technologies such as big data, cloud computing, 5G, artificial intelligence and blockchain have been rapidly developed and widely applied in various fields of social economy, laying a good foundation for the development and application of digital currency.”

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Author: AnTy

China Stance on Crypto Remains The Same; Blockchain, Not Bitcoin

In a recent report by Chinese state media Xinhuanet, the Chinese government wants its citizens to stop paying attention to cryptocurrency but concentrate more on blockchain technology, the technology behind the cryptocurrencies.

China is emphasizing that the current rise of almost all crypto coins could seem very attractive to investors, which may not be permanent.

According to the media report, the warning is to protect the Chinese citizens and residents from making life-damaging investment decisions. However, it encourages citizens to invest more time and resources in Blockchain technology since it can be applied in various industries.

The past few weeks had seen the upsurge of Bitcoin price, as it moved above its previous all-time high achieved in 2017 when it reached $20,000 per Bitcoin. The same story goes for other cryptocurrencies. Some even tripled in price, representing massive investment profits for the crypto holder.

Bitcoin’s direction is uncertain

Various market analysts have predicted on the recent Bull Run and where the market is headed next. Some have even predicted that Bitcoin’s price could reach $100,000 soon, as market indices show.

However, China is advising its citizens not to throw their entire investment bag into Bitcoin because the market is highly volatile. Generally, the country is known to be a strong supporter and advocate of advanced technology. But this time, the government is making a distinction between blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Based on the publication, one of the reasons for the advice against cryptocurrency investment is that no one knows why Bitcoin is rising fast. As a result, the fall can be dramatic and very volatile for some investors to bear.

The Chinese government has always been very protective of its citizens when it comes to investments. In the shared post, the government described Bitcoin’s price as a “hype,” and the risk f trading on the top cryptocurrency is very high, according to the post.

Different views about blockchain and cryptocurrency

But when it comes to the technology behind Bitcoin, China is well known to be an ardent optimist. It has made concerted efforts to develop its blockchain industry and has gone a long way towards developing it’s Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) system.

The country has already passed the first stage of its DCEP testing. Additionally, China is in the process of developing its blockchain-based network service. Several public chains have already integrated into the network, including EOS, NEO, Tezos, and Ethereum. But it’s the negative stance of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency remains unchanged.

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Author: Ali Raza

Huawei’s Flagship Phone, Mate 40, Will Support China’s Digital Currency Wallet On Launch

Huawei announces support for the upcoming Chinese central bank digital currency in its upcoming flagship smartphone, Mate 40. The smartphone will include a hardware wallet for the digital renminbi, a Weibo post stated.

The Chinese digital currency electronic payment (DC/EP) project was launched back in 2014, but tests only took to the public earlier this year. The project looks ready to go mainstream with the latest announcement of the Mate 40 supporting a digital wallet for the token. The smartphone offers users a self-custodial “hardware-level security, controllable anonymous protection, and dual offline transactions,” the statement on the Weibo post reads.

Huawei Mate 40

The latest Huawei support for the digital yuan follows a public test run across the country. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) distributed over 10 million yuan to 50,000 random participants in Shenzhen in a public trial of the DC/EP system.

With the DC/EP, users can spend the digital yuan at any of the thousands of merchant stores that support it or at any point of sale devices with support for the token.

The post, however, did not clarify how the digital DC/EP project will work or how users could convert their bank balances and cash to the digital yuan using the Mate 40 hardware wallet. Moreover, it remains unclear if the Mate 40 smartphones in other regions will support the DC/EP wallet or restricted in some regions.

However, China is not the first state to release a national digital currency – being beat to the race by the Bahamas. The island nation announced a public launch of the “Sand Dollar” as the first public CBDC worldwide.

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Author: Lujan Odera