This weekly roundup of news from Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong attempts to present the most important news in the industry, including influential projects, changes in the regulatory landscape and blockchain integrations of ‘business.
In this 30th edition of the Shanghai Man Column, we preview Wanxiang Shanghai Blockchain Week, an offline event that is normally the largest blockchain conference on the Chinese calendar. Next week, despite all regulatory crackdowns, the event is still scheduled to take place, but a month behind schedule from its usual place in mid-September.
The flagship event
Historically, Wanxiang Blockchain Week has drawn a huge crowd of industry participants, including traders, investors, developers, financial institutions, and traditional businesses. The three-day event is usually complemented by a busy schedule of side events, focusing on areas such as DeFi or network-specific meetups.
Last year, following COVID-19 lockdowns, the event was much more moderate, not least due to a lack of foreign speakers such as Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood physically present. These two thought leaders both have close ties to Shanghai and have always helped raise the profile of the event from a technical standpoint.
Wanxiang Blockchain is a large investment firm supporting some of the strongest projects in the space. It has invested over 100 billion RMB in over 200 projects, operating much like the Eastern Consensys. His ties to the China Wanxiang Group give him a high position in the business world, including a closer relationship with companies and government resources.
This year’s event is scheduled to take place on October 26-27, with scheduled keynote addresses from Vitalik Buterin from Ethereum, Sergey Nazarov from Chainlink, Yat Siu from Animoca Brands and Anatoly Yakovenko from Solana. It is not clear if any of them will physically attend the event, but given China’s strict quarantine restrictions and cryptocurrency policies, it is more likely that they will deliver the speech. by video.
In the past, most of the talk has focused on infrastructure and applications, rather than cryptocurrencies and trading-related activities. This allowed the event to continue to attract government officials, regardless of increasingly negative policies.
The metaverse and NFT art are two subjects that have managed to avoid the wrath of regulators. As such, a number of related events have been coalesced into what is known as Shanghai Metaverse Week, which may be just a subtle way for ‘Blockchain Week’ events to avoid the government scrutiny. This Metaverse Week is hosted by partners such as Litentry, Polygon, Harmony, Flow, Tezos and Mask Network. The event plans to have exclusive live broadcasts in Decentraland.
Changes in ranks
Searches containing the keyword “Bitcoin” on WeChat reached nearly 26 million on October 15, fueled by the announcement of ETF approval in the United States. These levels of attention had not been seen since mid-summer, when regulatory crackdowns brought a lot of attention to the asset.
Trading volumes tell an interesting story as OKEx has recently gained momentum, clearly coming in second behind Binance with around 11% of the total market share according to FTX. global volume monitor. Huobi, who announced he would block Chinese users from using the platform at the end of 2021, has struggled to keep pace with OKEx and has now slipped behind FTX, in fourth and just a few billion. dollars a day ahead of ByBit.
Huobi dominated the CeFi scene between 2014 and 2016, where it enjoyed extended stretches as the highest volume exchange. Now, a new wave of CeFi trading led by FTX and ByBit is starting to eat away at the dominance of traditional CeFi leaders Huobi, Binance and OKEx, collectively known as HBO.
Catch the NFT Trend
A number of large companies have ditched their own NFTs these days, including e-commerce giant JD.com. The retailer, which has its own blockchain, is release a set of seven NFT models via its WeChat mini-program later this year.
Last week, logistics company DHL also announced the launch of NFT on the mainline VeChain. These NFTs appear as a way to reward customers, but with the strict policies, these NFTs are unlikely to end up in open markets and expose many users to the larger cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Losing to the United States
An announcement on the National Development Reform Commission website proclaimed that the United States has now overtaken China as the world’s leading Bitcoin mining country. The brief article boasts that this transformation came just two months after Beijing declared cryptocurrency mining illegal.
It’s unclear whether this article is meant to be taken literally, or as a very subtle but sarcastic reminder that recent political decisions may not be in the best interest of the country.