This weekly roundup of news from mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong attempts to collect the industry’s biggest news, including influential projects, changes in the regulatory landscape, and enterprise blockchain integrations.
Memecoin culture shock
Feed the gorillas token, or FEG, was a source of drama after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s memes were posted. The token claims to use its income to care for gorillas and has been gaining attention among animal-related tokens, amassing a market capitalization of more than $ 1 billion. Some members of the Chinese community found the meme offensive and, after failing to find the support of the team, began to abandon the project. The incident went viral and Chinese CeFi exchanges including OKEx and Gate responded by removing the token. The price of FEG fell around 75%, before rebounding slightly on May 13.
The community was divided, with one side claiming that Chinese censorship was being imposed on the cryptocurrency community. In all likelihood, the decision to remove the token was likely more out of caution than outrage, as cryptocurrency exchanges operating in a legal gray area often find it advantageous to avoid being associated with scandals and controversies.
Digital yuan vs digital dollar
Algorand uploaded a webinar on China’s progress in the CBDC space on May 13. The event was hosted by China’s Blockchain-based service network and included Algorand Foundation CEO Sean Lee, David Shin from Tezos and Charles d’Haussy from ConsenSys. All of the panelists spoke positively about the approach China had taken with CBDCs, focusing on marketing and incentivization that has led to the pilots being run with banks, companies, and tech companies across the region.
While discussing the challenges of implementing a CBDC, the panelists also contrasted the public style of the digital yuan’s development with that of the US. Shin suggested that despite the lack of publicity, the Biden administration has been briefed on the progress of other nations in this space, and hinted that the United States might not be as passive as it might appear. The US dollar has a strong position over other national currencies, allowing the US more flexibility and patience in how it implements new technologies, as there is less pressure to take the first step. China, on the other hand, has much more to gain by increasing the use of the yuan in international settings.
Alipay also allows users to participate in CBDC tests according to Cointelegraph. The financial services app has been playing an early role in testing, but this is one of the first indications that retail users will soon be able to get the digital yuan directly through the app. On May 13, Cointelegraph also reported on the Hong Kong Monetary Authority giving the green light to continue testing the use of the digital yuan for cross-border payments.
Babel closes round of $ 40 million
Babel Finance, one of China’s largest crypto institutions, announced the completion of its $ 40 million Series A fundraiser. The company offers loans, transactions and other financial services to high net worth individuals and institutions, making it an important part of the Chinese investment ecosystem. The round included contributions from Zoo Capital, Sequoia Capital China, Dragonfly Capital, BAI Capital, and Tiger Global Management.
Unbanking the Banked
The large commercial institution China Citic Bank announced that the accounts at the bank could not be used to exchange cryptocurrencies such as BTC. He listed a number of reasons, including protection against money laundering, upholding the legal tender status of the yuan, and protecting social public property rights.