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China Crypto Roundup (Dec.29-Jan.4): Automaker Withdraws Statement about Purchasing Cars with Bitcoin, Ebang to Launch Crypto Exchange, China’s DCEP Lands in Beijing

Just two weeks after passing $20,000, bitcoin hit the $30,000 milestone on the second day of 2021. Witnessing the great bull, traditional companies are eyeing bitcoin, but it turned out to be unrealistic in China under the current regulatory pressure.

Automaker to accept bitcoin?

On Dec.31, the Chinese crypto space was roiled by a weibo announcement from GAC NIO reading that it became the first auto company in China to accept bitcoin as payment for car purchases along with a poster with a big bitcoin logo on it.

Soon after that, the company revised the statement, changing “bitcoin” into “digital currency”. Later it removed both posts and denied any of the two payments. In less than two hours, the company issued an apology, saying that it failed to take the financial regulatory approval into consideration when it posted the announcement this morning about buying cars with bitcoin and digital currency.

As the announcement came at a time when the price of bitcoin rallied to set a new all-time high around $30,000. The move of GAC NIO seems to be more like a marketing stunt than a real attempt to gravitate towards bitcoin in a country that holds a hostile attitude toward bitcoin.

Ebang to launch crypto exchange in Q1 2021

The China-based bitcoin mining equipment maker Ebang announced in the past week that it was preparing to officially launch a cryptocurrency exchange in the first quarter of 2021.

While very little has been revealed about the proposed exchange, except that Ebang has said it will be a regulatory-compliant cryptocurrency exchange that would strictly operate outside of China, where the government has cracked down on trading platforms.

Recently Ebang set up a wholly owned subsidiary in Australia as part of its strategy to create a digital asset trading platform.

China’s DCEP progress

China is at the forefront to launch a CBDC. Its sovereign digital currency program, called Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP), has launched several trials in several cities over the past few months. The largest trial is seen conducted in Suzhou, where 96,614 residents were awarded red envelopes with the digital currency and about 19 million digital yuan was consumed during the experiment.

On Dec. 29, the DCEP landed in Beijing for the first real life use, where customers at Mancat Coffee, a coffee shop located in Lize Financial Business District, can scan the digital yuan payment QR code, marking the first time for China’s capital city to embrace the application of digital currency.

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