Bitcoin and blockchain Cryptocurrency Heavy Hitters News On the Cusp Shenzhen

Second Shenzhen digital yuan lottery, rig makers’ new ventures: Blockheads

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Shenzhen started a second digital yuan lottery just days after Suzhou concluded its own, while a Beijing cafe has started accepting the digital currency. Ebang plans to launch a crypto exchange in the first quarter of 2021, its peer Canaan is venturing into mining with an unlikely partner. One Chinese exchange is reportedly insolvent; Huobi and OKex share prices in Hong Kong started the new year with big gains. A large Chinese EV maker apologized for announcing that it would accept Bitcoin payments.

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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 Dec. 29 – Jan. 4.

Digital yuan rollout

  • Shenzhen will hold a second digital yuan lottery to distribute China’s central bank digital currency, the digital yuan. Registration took placed from Jan. 1 to 4 for residents of the city in southern Guangdong province. The system will pick 100,000 people to receive “red envelopes” containing RMB 200 ($31) worth of the digital currency, double the amount given in the two previous lotteries, redeemable between Jan. 7 to 17. (Shenzhen government WeChat, in Chinese)
  • Data released by the Suzhou government, which conducted in late December a lottery to distribute the digital yuan, showed that 55% of the funds were used offline, and the remaining 45% were used for online transactions on JD.com and other e-commerce platforms. (Sina Finance)
  • The first place in Beijing to accept the digital yuan is Mancat Cafe in southwestern Fengtai district; whitelisted individuals participating in digital yuan trials can now pay at the coffee shop using the digital currency. (Sina Finance Weibo)

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: We got some digital yuan!

Rig makers expand

  • Cryptocurrency mining rig manufacturer Ebang said Thursday it will start testing a new crypto exchange in the first quarter of 2021. The Nasdaq-listed rig maker’s share price has risen 17% to $7.14 since the announcement. (Ebang statement)
  • Mining equipment maker Canaan, which has been struggling to regain momentum after a short report released in 2020, is partnering with The9, a Shanghai-based gaming distributor to launch a mining business. The9 brought World of Warcraft to China until the game’s publisher, Blizzard, sold the license to NetEase in 2005. (The9 statement)

READ MORE: Rig maker Canaan misses Bitcoin surge, losses top $12 million

Exchange fluctuations

  • Chinese cryptocurrency exchange FCoin fired all of its employees and will be moving to a decentralized model, the largest exchange bankruptcy in China according to reporter Colin Wu. (Wu Blockchain Twitter)
  • Shares of exchanges Huobi and Okex have made significant gains as soon as markets opened in Hong Kong on Jan. 4 for the first day in 2021. At the time of writing, Huobi’s stock is up 62%, and OKex surged 21%.

Carmaker’s Bitcoin misstep

A joint venture by state-owned EV maker NIO and state-owned legacy carmaker GAC announced on Dec. 31 that it would start accepting Bitcoin payments for its cars—a first for a major Chinese company. The carmaker quickly apologized on the same day for not fully considering and getting approval from financial regulators for the move. (China News Network Weibo, in Chinese)