China NFT Weekly: a bad week for cryptocurrencies

Digestible news on the latest developments in Web3, NFT, Blockchain and Metaverse in China and beyond, compiled for you weekly by Pandaily.

This week: Tencent Huanhe’s NFT market will close, Zipmex becomes the latest cryptocurrency exchange to stop withdrawals, Hong Kong’s monetary leader says crypto and DeFi won’t go away, and more.



Tencent will close the Huanhe NFT platform

Tencent is firing an unknown number of employees from its NFT Huanhe 幻 核 buying and collecting platform, with the ultimate intention of closing the business, according to people familiar with the matter. Caixin Global and Forkast first reported the story.

  • The news came amid increased regulatory scrutiny over digital assets in China, with tech giants including Tencent and Ant Group signing a pact last month to stop secondary NFT trading.
  • Since its launch in August 2021, Huanhe has adapted its development strategy to avoid regulatory risks. Sales on the platform have slowed since June and the company is poised to launch an international version of the NFT platform.
  • Meanwhile, Jingtan, an NFT platform run by fintech giant Ant Group, has not issued any notice of layoff, sources told Caixin.
  • Chinese regulators and state media have repeatedly warned the public about the risks associated with secondary trade and digital asset speculation, but the rules on NFTs remain unclear.
  • Last September, Beijing issued a blanket ban on all cryptocurrency-related trading and mining activities, making blockchain technology a strategic priority.
    • The blockchain-based service network, or BSN, is part of the country’s efforts to build capacity in the sector.
    • Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country needs to “seize the opportunities” offered by blockchain technology. (Forkast, Caixin Global)

READ MORE: Chinese tech giants promise to end NFT speculation

Zipmex becomes the ultimate cryptocurrency exchange to block withdrawals

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex has halted withdrawals, becoming the latest company to be affected by the fallout from a series of defaults that are spreading across the digital asset industry. The Washington Post and Bloomberg first reported the story.

  • Founded in 2018, Zipmex has two million users and operates in Singapore, Thailand, Australia and Indonesia. With its native token exchange of less than 40 cents, down more than 90% from its peak, the platform is facing severe financial hardship stemming from transactions with troubled crypto lenders such as Babel Finance and Celsius Network. .
  • “Due to a combination of circumstances beyond our control, including volatile market conditions and resulting financial hardship for our major trading partners, in order to maintain the integrity of our platform, we would suspend withdrawals until ‘ new notice, ‘”the company wrote on Twitter. the week.
  • “Our exposure to Celsius was minimal. Therefore, we intended to charge it to our balance sheet, ”the company said in a separate statement Thursday.
  • Zipmex will discuss its options with two companies. Earlier, the Thai company’s chief executive appeared in a deleted YouTube video since, saying Zipmex was negotiating a potential bailout with investors.
  • One of Zipmex’s most prominent services, ZipUp +, which offers returns of up to 10% on cryptocurrency deposits, is currently on hold. (Washington Post, Bloomberg)

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Hong Kong’s monetary chief says Crypto and DeFi won’t go away

Eddie Yue, CEO of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), said closer scrutiny of stablecoins could help reduce the risks of DeFi, but the technology, which aims to remove the need for intermediaries to lend and invest, will continue. to play an important role in the financial sector. system. Reuters and CoinDesk first reported the story.

  • Speaking at a meeting of G20 financial officials, Yue called for greater scrutiny of the cryptocurrency industry to avoid another crash such as the terraUSD (UST) algorithmic stablecoin and its companion token, LUNA., According to CoinDesk, citing a report from FinBold. .
  • “Despite the Earth-Moon incident, I believe that cryptocurrencies and DeFi will not go away, even if they could be held back, as the technology and business innovation behind these developments are likely to be important to our future financial system.” Yue said.
  • The CEO further said that stablecoins and cryptocurrency exchanges are gateways to DeFi projects and therefore easier to regulate than the products themselves.
  • In January, HKMA issued a statement signaling it would continue to explore crypto technology with caution as it “strikes the right balance between maintaining a secure and efficient financial system in Hong Kong and supporting financial innovation,” followed from a working document next year. stating that the rise in stablecoin could potentially harm Hong Kong’s local currency. (CoinDesk, Reuters)

Hong Kong launches first metaverse churches with virtual avatars and preachers

In February, Hong Kong Baptist pastor Reverend Enoch Lam Yee-lok launched Me Church, a church in the metaverse where people can participate virtually as avatars. SCMP first reported the story.

  • The reverend said this was done in order to provide a solution to the faithful who are disturbed by the Covid rules of the Special Administrative Region, as well as those who might find traditional services boring.
  • Lam, although in his 60s, is known for his unconventional methods of preaching. In addition to launching the Metaverse Project to target younger and more tech-savvy devotees, the reverend has also created So Gor (Brother Jesus), a play to promote religion.
  • Lam also said Covid has shaken the attitudes of older faithful, who are now more used to participating in online services from the comfort of their homes.
  • Online churches have become increasingly popular in recent years, with some churches even accepting cryptocurrencies as a donation. Globally, one of the most famous churches is Life.Church, an American project born out of a network of physical churches.
  • A church in the metaverse could potentially offer a more direct and visceral way to engage with the Bible, the reverend explained, using the story of Noah, who built an ark to prepare for a huge flood that no one would have expected. . “They (the young people) won’t sit and listen to you,” he said. “They want to jump and build Noah’s Ark by themselves.” (SCMP)

Indian finance minister supports central bank cryptocurrency ban, seeks international collaboration

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reiterated the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) stance to ban cryptocurrencies, but said significant international collaboration is needed to pass any legislation. CoinDesk and TechCrunch reported the story for the first time.

  • In a written statement in response to questions raised by Thirumaavalavan Thol, a member of parliament, the finance minister said: “RBI has recommended the development of legislation on this sector. RBI is of the opinion that cryptocurrencies should be banned, “he said.
  • “Cryptocurrencies are by definition borderless and require international collaboration to prevent regulatory arbitrage. Therefore, any regulatory or prohibition legislation can only be effective after significant international collaboration on the assessment of risks and benefits and on the evolution of taxonomy and common standards, “he added.
  • The Financial Stability Board (FSB), a body of regulators, Treasury officials and central bankers from the Group of 20 Economies, including India, said earlier this month that it will present rules in October this year. “robust” global markets for cryptocurrencies. The FSB said the crypto assets were used primarily for “speculative purposes” and did not operate in an “unregulated space”.
  • Earlier this year, India switched to tax transactions and profits related to cryptocurrency trading. This was seen as one of the first steps the central bank took to regulate the sector. (CoinDesk, TechCrunch)

Minecraft developer Mojang bans NFTs

Minecraft developer Mojang said Wednesday that it will institute a ban on blockchain and NFT technology. Protocol and Yahoo Finance first reported the story.

  • Minecraft has a marketplace where people can sell their creations for others to use. Mojang noted that some companies have recently started offering NFTs associated with Minecraft skin packs and world files that people can purchase.
  • The studio said it would have been possible for players to earn Minecraft NFTs for activities completed in the game or elsewhere, but Mojang disagrees with all of that.
  • The company also said that creators can continue to use the game as a platform to create and sell NFTs, but the digital assets will not be integrated with Minecraft’s client and server applications.
  • “To ensure a safe and inclusive experience for Minecraft players, blockchain technologies cannot be integrated into our Minecraft client and server applications or used to create NFTs associated with any game content, including worlds, skins, personality items, or other mods, ”Mojang wrote in the post.
  • “We will also pay close attention to how blockchain technology evolves over time to ensure that the above principles are maintained and whether this will allow for safer experiences or other practical and inclusive applications in games,” the company added. “However, we currently have no plans to implement blockchain technology in Minecraft.” (Protocol, Yahoo Finance)

That’s it for this week’s newsletter – thanks for reading! As always, we welcome any feedback on how to improve this newsletter. Write to us [email protected]. I’ll see you next week !

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