Blockchain week with Vitalik is still running, WeChat search ‘Bitcoin’ reaches 26 million tr
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In this 30th edition of the Shanghai Men column, we preview Shanghai Wanxiang Blockchain Week, an offline event that is usually the largest blockchain conference on the Chinese calendar. Despite all the regulatory crackdowns, the event is slated to resume next week, albeit with a one-month delay from its usual venue in mid-September.
In the past, Wanxiang Blockchain Week has attracted a large number of industry participants, including traders, investors, developers, financial institutions and traditional companies. The three-day event is often supplemented with a full program of side events that focus on areas such as DeFi or network-specific meetups.
Last year, after the COVID-19 lockdown, the event became much quieter, in particular the absence of foreign speakers such as Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood. These two thought leaders both have close ties with Shanghai and have always helped improve the event from a technical perspective.
Wanxiang Blockchain is a major institutional investor backing some of the top performing projects in the space. It has invested more than 100 billion RMB in more than 200 projects like Consensys of the East. His relationship with China’s Wanxiang Group gives him a high profile in the business community, including closer relationships with corporate and government resources.
This year’s event will take place on October 26th and 27th, with keynotes from Vitalik Buterin from Ethereum, Sergey Nazarov from Chainlink, Yat Siu from Animoca Brands and Anatoly Yakovenko from Solana. It’s unclear if any of them will actually attend the event, but given China’s strict quarantine restrictions and cryptocurrency policies, they are more likely to speak on video.
In the past, most of the speeches focused on infrastructure and applications rather than cryptocurrencies and transactional activities. This has enabled the event to continue to attract government officials despite increasingly negative politics.
Metaverse and NFT art are two topics that have avoided the wrath of regulators. As a result, several related events have been merged into what is known as the Shanghai Metaverse Week, possibly just a subtle type of “Blockchain Week” events to avoid government scrutiny. This Metaverse Week is hosted by partners such as Litentry, Polygon, Harmony, Flow, Tezos and Mask Network. The event plans to host exclusive live streams in Decentraland.
Changes in the ranking
The searches that contained the keyword “Bitcoin” on WeChat rose to nearly 26 million on October 15, spurred on by news of an ETF approval in the US. That attention has not been seen since Midsummer when regulatory crackdown brought a lot of attention to the property.
The exchange volume tells an interesting story as OKEx has risen lately and, according to FTX, is clearly in second place after Binance with around 11% of the total market share global volume monitoring. Huobi, which announced it would restrict Chinese users from using the platform through the end of 2021, struggled to keep up with OKEx and is now behind FTX, in fourth place and just a few billion dollars a year.
Huobi dominated the CeFi market from 2014 to 2016 and enjoyed it there for a long time as the highest-volume exchange. Now, a new wave of CeFi exchanges, led by FTX and ByBit, is beginning to feed on the dominance of traditional CeFi leaders Huobi, Binance and OKEx, collectively known as HBO.
Keeping up with the NFT trend
Several large corporations have gotten rid of their own NFTs these days, including e-commerce giant JD.com. The trader, who has its own blockchain, is liberate, liberate, liberate a set of seven NFT models through the WeChat gadget later that year.
Last week, the logistics company DHL also announced an NFT launch in the VeChain mainnet. These NFTs emerge to reward customers, but with strict guidelines these NFTs are unlikely to appear in open markets and expose more users to the crypto ecosystem.
Lose to America
An announcement on the National Development Reform Commission website claims that the US has now overtaken China to become the leading Bitcoin mining country in the world. The article brags, in a nutshell, that the switch comes just two months after Beijing declared cryptocurrency mining illegal.
It is unclear whether this article is to be taken literally or as a very subtle but sarcastic reminder that recent political decisions may not be in the best interests of the country.