This weekly roundup of news from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong attempts to curate the industry’s most important news, including influential projects, changes in the regulatory landscape, and enterprise blockchain integrations.
It was a quiet week in the mainland as much of the Chinese crypto community was either lying low, off in Lisbon, or recovering from a week-long hangover following the Shanghai Blockchain Week that concluded over last weekend.
The largest blockchain-related news was the $130 million hack of DeFi platform Boy X Highspeed, or BXH for short. BXH is a decentralized exchange running on BSC, Ethereum, HECO, and OKEx.
🚨🚨We are sorry to announce that BXH was attacked on #BinanceChain. Other chains assets are safe.
We are cooperating with BSC and Peckshield to follow up and trace.#BXH@HECO_Chain@BinanceChain@AnyswapNetwork@O3Swap@renprotocol@firstname.lastname@example.org/jNo8C53DM0
— BXH (@BXH_Blockchain) October 30, 2021
Even more peculiar than the platform’s name itself is the nature of the hack. It appears that the attacker somehow gained access to the admin key, which leads to plenty of questions about the security and decentralization of the project.
Based on this and the fact that the Chinese project claims to have enlisted the help of Chinese law enforcement, there are suspicions it could be the result of an inside job. BXH has offered a large bounty of up to $10 million for those who can help return the funds.
Huobi not giving up on moon mission
Volumes on Huobi continued to drop, at times falling behind Coinbase Pro and Korean exchange Upbit. Last week Huobi was roughly 60% of the volume on FTX, but it sat on Wednesday at around 40%. It’s also around one-third the volume of major competitor OKEx. Huobi is now less than two months away from its own deadline to close accounts belonging to Chinese users. Huobi will need to dramatically reshuffle to win back the market share it has slowly lost to exchanges with fewer regulatory risks.
In a strong marketing push, Huobi has announced a contest to send one user into space onboard a private spacecraft. Not all the details were given, but this announcement comes as the exchange celebrates its eigth anniversary, making it one of the older trading institutions in the sector.
PlatOn claims a partnership with Google Cloud
One of China’s more low-key public chains announced on Twitter it is partnering with the large cloud service provider Google Cloud:
“We will work together to provide basic application technology and enterprise-level platform services for global users, as well as the research and development in blockchain technology, privacy protection, and ecosystem building.”
The announcement didn’t gain much attention, as it’s unclear how much actual reciprocation is happening from Google Cloud’s end. Despite the announcement, the token was down around 6% on Thursday.
Mining in Southeast Asia
The Southeast Asia country of Laos is exploring cryptocurrency mining in the aftermath of China’s mining crackdown. A pilot project between the government and the private sector is expected to bring in roughly $194 million towards the country’s total domestic revenue projected for 2022.
Laos shares a small southern border with China’s Yunnan province, an area where a lot of miners are still leaving following the announcement from the Energy Administration of Yunnan in June that clarified the national policy would apply to Yunnan itself.
Contacts report that though a lot of miners have left China already, a portion has been laying low, waiting to see if the regulatory environment changes or a better opportunity presents itself. Countries like Laos are interesting potential destinations as regulations are still quite ambiguous. Traditionally, Southeast Asia has been home to a lot of China’s “offshore” businesses, such as gambling or casino games seeking to avoid regulations or law enforcement.
CBDC gaining traction
China’s central bank is once again boasting about the traction of its centralized digital currency, the e-CNY. Announcements at Hong Kong’s Fintech week revealed that now more than 140 million people have access to accounts, with over 62 billion transactions processed.
This is a large jump from the previous year and should come as little surprise considering the amount of trial programs that have been rolled out around the country. Many franchise restaurants and retailers are already advertising e-CNY at point of sale devices throughout the country.
It seems likely that number will continue to rise, challenging private apps Alipay and WeChat, both of which claim over 1 billion users each. Supplanting those two will be a difficult task, mainly due to the feature-rich nature of the super-apps. However, the central bank currency surely has a lot more patience and the advantage of regulatory policy-makers that can tilt the market in its favor.