Why the 4th of September is important to Chinese crypto community?
For those that have been working in Blockchain industry in China this date is associated with mixed feelings.
Last year on this day you would see the top media platforms publishing articles with headlines:
Soon after this date, the shutdown of crypto exchange business in China also followed. The leading crypto exchanges within a period of a month stopped operations and vanished…
Some claimed the ban to be temporary and called those regulations “preventative measures”.
Others (mainly those who raised funds through ICO, or were running a fundraising platforms, or were operating crypto exchange) had to quickly find the way how to change the business direction or move out to other jurisdictions in order to survive.
This was the moment when the crypto-giants, such as BTCC, went down and new crypto-giants, such as Binance, emerged.
Again this year we saw Chinese regulators “incentivising” crypto-community membersto stay on a “short leash” and know the limits:
- Chinese authorities blocking access in China to 124 websites operated by offshore cryptocurrency exchanges that provide trading services;
- Censors shutting down at least eight blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused online media outlets by blocking their official public accounts on WeChat;
- Shut down of domestic websites related to cryptocurrency trades and initial coin offerings;
- One of Beijing’s central districts issuing a notice in August banning hotels, office buildings and shopping malls in the area from hosting events promoting cryptocurrencies.
I would not dismiss a chance of Chinese regulators surprising crypto community with more news in the upcoming months as well.
Yet what I can see and tell from my own experience in China during the last 2 years, the environment for Blockchain-based application development and community activities right now is much closer to the healthy environment than it was before the regulations were in place.
During last couple of weeks you could feel a quiet anticipation of another crackdown-alike news within industry participants. Some of the startup founders were even directing their teams not to undertake any active PR campaigns on any Chinese social media or engage in meetups with community. You could see less partnership or investment deal closure announcements as well.
Yet the market and crypto community in China is constantly moving forward. You can see that the quality of Blockchain and crypto-related meetups and conferences are getting better too.
September 2018 is a busy month for Blockchain industry in China, especially in Shanghai with Slush Blockchain Stage being organised under PwC during Sep 7-8th and Shanghai International Blockchain Week organised by Wanxiang Blockchain Labs between Sep 7-12th.
Maybe after all, the last year’s crypto ban will have a long-term positive effect on the emergence of blockchain-powered use cases in China?
The time will show us…
Editor’s note: This article is written by Tamar Menteshashvili. Tamar is a co-founder at Expread. She started researching Distributed Technologies back in 2014 and since has been an active member of the Blockchain industry. She is a PhD candidate at Shanghai Jiao Tong University with main focus on Blockchain technology. In 2016 she established SJTU Blockchain Hub, which aims to bring academia and industry representatives together. Tamar has been advising number of governments, including Kazakhstan and Georgia, on implementation of Blockchain technology in public services. She is a public speaker and published author for a number of academic journals and international media platforms.