Our Man in Shanghai: DogeMania, ‘Dog-Coin’ trademark dogfight, hashrate outage, government warms up to crypto
The big news this week happened on April 16th, when a major power outage in Xinjiang wreaked havoc on the BTC hash rate. According to local sources, the hash rates on Ant Mine Pool fell by 21.93%, BTC.com by 18.5%, Binance Mine Pool by 22%, and Huobi Mine Pool by 25.5%. Reports from Cointelegraph linked it with safety inspections resulting from a mine accident in the western-most province. Western China has a strong presence in the mining space due to cheap electricity and equally affordable real estate. Despite miners originally stating the impact would only last 1 to 2 days, the hash rate has yet to rebound. Currently the global rate is under 145 million TH/S, down from a peak of 172 million TH/S the day before the accident.
Dogecoin mania set in as buyers on OKEx and Huobi helped drive the price up 370% in one week. These two predominantly Chinese exchanges accounted for 16.9% and 15.9% of global volumes respectively, with Binance making up only 5.2%. Chinese buyers tend to view all assets through the lens of a potential investment, a strong contrast to western investors who were more likely to make memes about the performance on social media.
Dogecoin mania didn’t stop there. Tianyancha, a website for enterprise information, showed that two companies have tried to register the Chinese version of Dogecoin. The Chinese name, which literally translates to ‘Dog-Coin’, was the subject of trademark applications by two separate technology companies in Shanghai and Changsha. According to the source, the trademark is awaiting a substantive review.
Binance’s new top exec
Binance recently appointed a new head of Greater China as the executive roles continue to shuffle. Binance is a very decentralized company which keeps many of the roles and structure hidden from the public eye. The company moved its head office out of China in 2017 after facing a lot of regulatory uncertainty. Still China possesses a high concentration of traders and investors, making the region extremely attractive for centralized exchanges.
Carefully chosen words of support?
Li Bo, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, raised some eyebrows when he announced at a conference that the bank regards Bitcoin and stablecoins as investment alternatives. In a country where words are not generally left to chance, this is a strong indicator that Beijing’s stance on cryptocurrency continues to soften.
Digital yuan is a gamble
In digital yuan news, many fear that stricter monitoring of currency could be another blow to the Macau gaming industry. The region, which depends on the mainland for around 70% of its traffic, would allegedly suffer if illegally-obtained funds became harder to traffic across borders.
Finally, the former governor of the People’s Bank of China warned that applying digital taxes could trigger a tariff war. Speaking at the Boao Forum for Asia, he defended China’s growing presence in the digital economy by pointing out the importance of multilateralism. China is slowly extending its influence in neighboring countries through economic policies, a theme that could be accelerated by developed digital yuan infrastructure.