China Crypto Roundup: Mining Bans Provoke Migrations and Alipay’s NFTs

Divya  |  Jun 25, 2021

Crypto miners in China had another rough week as authorities choked power supplies to mining operations in various provinces. The country’s aggressive stance on mining and trading of digital assets has compelled some companies to migrate operations overseas. But most of these transitions have only witnessed the relocation of equipment as managements continue to maintain a base in China.

Meanwhile, Alipay has made a foray into NFTs even as China refuses to budge on crypto trading. 

For further updates on major developments in the Chinese crypto market, read on.

Crypto Mining Companies Look For a New Address as China Intensifies Crackdown 

One of China’s largest mining companies, Canaan, has announced that it will be rolling out its operations in Kazakhstan. Earlier this month, the company opened its first service center in the country to provide equipment testing, maintenance, and warranty benefits to local customers.

The move is a great bargain for the company which is looking to maintain its administration in China while shipping its equipment abroad to mitigate any legal emergencies.

Canaan demonstrates how Chinese companies can retain governance of their operations by simply shifting their equipment. And in doing so they defy the expectations of Bitcoin purists who argue that crackdowns will help undo China’s dominance of the mining industry.

In a similar incident, reported by CNBC’s Beijing Bureau Chief, Eunice Yoon, a logistics firm based in Guangzhou province shipped nearly three tonnes of mining hardware to Maryland, US.

As per Yoon’s tweet, the shipping company is said to have charged $9.37 per kilogram, which would mean that the total cost of delivery was less than the price of one Bitcoin at the time.

In another mining-related update, Bitmain, a Chinese company that deals in mining hardware, has suspended sales of its new equipment to aid the overflowing secondhand markets. The company is trying to help miners exiting operations amid declining hash rates to receive a good return for their equipment. In addition to postponing sales, Bitmain is also fully transitioning its work to an unspecified overseas location.

Miami Invites Ousted Miners to Set Up Shop 

Longstanding Bitcoin supporter and Miami mayor Francis Suarez announced on June 18 that the metropolis is open for ousted miners. The announcement was translated and posted to Sina Finance’s Weibo account, which attracted some buzz from netizens. However, these reactions were mostly negative.

Weibo users are well-known for their contempt for cryptocurrencies. This is especially true of users who’ve invested in China’s stagnating stock markets.

Alipay’s Entry Into The NFT Segment

In a bid to push its AntChain technology -- a private blockchain designed by Alibaba’s Ant group -- Alipay has collaborated with Dunhuang Research Academy for the release of 8000 NFT skins. 

Dunhuang is a historically significant place, famous for being an outpost on the old silk road and its Mogao Caves, which is a UNESCO-certified heritage site. Alipay’s NFTs featured artistic creations inspired by the cultural site and sold 16,000 copies within hours.

The sale, however, compelled Ant Group to come out and explain the distinction between cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens since China has strict rules in place against crypto trading.

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