Shanghai Man: Billionaire buys CryptoPunks, Arbitrum finds traction, markets ignore warnings

This weekly roundup of news from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong attempts to curate the industrys most important news, including influential projects, changes in the regulatory landscape, and enterprise blockchain integrations.

There are a lot of narratives to keep an eye on as China enjoyed a relatively quiet week on the regulatory front and markets rebounded. Layer-two networks continued to make headlines with their large war chests of funds to invest. Avalanche and Arbitrum are two networks that have growing awareness in China. Both were in the news this week with Avalanches $180 million fund being announced and Arbitrums launch on as a new portal operator for the Blockchain Service Network. This looks to be a third portal following the establishment of the domestic Chinese portal and the global version. The domestic portal is able to work closely with state owned companies and organizations, while the global portal works with more blockchain projects in a looser regulatory framework.

This new Korean portal could introduce Chinese companies to the growing community of Korean developers and users. The Blockchain Service Network is a joint initiative between Red Date Technology, the National Information Center, China Mobile, and China UnionPay.



Like a good neighbor, eCNY is there

The Bank of Communications and China Construction Bank are exploring new use cases with fund managers to allow users to pay for insurance with the digital yuan. This is yet another use case that is being driven by the top down financial system, posing a serious competitor to private payment processors like Alipay and WeChat Pay.

According to the report, China Construction Bank has already opened up a total of 8.42 million eCNY wallets for both individual users and institutional clients, making China a clear leader in CBDC adoption.

Blockchain meets TradFi

Chinese regulators, including the Securities Association of China and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), met in the nations capital to discuss how blockchain could be used to digitally transform the TradFi industry.

According to the announcement, the Science and Technology Bureau will look to build a two-tier structure: an asset layer and a business layer for smart contracts and supply chain. The government has continued to push for blockchain applications where it provides so-called ‘real economic value’, such as in existing industrial sectors.

In case you forgot

As much as I wanted to end this column on a high note, it wouldn’t be right to not include the inevitable reminders from local authorities about the dangers of cryptocurrency investing. On August 27, the Peoples Bank of China put out a notice that:

“We once again remind the general public that bitcoin and other virtual currencies are not legal tender and have no real value to support them.”

Yin Youping, deputy director of the People’s Bank of China’s Consumer Protection Bureau, said on August 27 that transactions related to virtual currencies are purely investment speculation, and the public should be more aware of risks and stay away from them to protect their “wallets”. The markets barely reacted to the news, showing that more and more influence is shifting away from governments in the region.