Shanghai Man: China retains mining control? Alipay’s ancient NFTs and Amber’s big raise

A look at miners shifting hardware overseas, Amber raises $100m, and Bitmain temporarily shuts down sales among dropping hashrate sales.

This weekly roundup of news from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong attempts to curate the industry’s most important news, including influential projects, changes in the regulatory landscape, and enterprise blockchain integrations.

So low you’ve got to reach up to touch the bottom

This week in China felt like one giant mining-farm sized pile of FUD. This is usually a pretty good indication that a bottom is close to being in, but one can never be too sure when it comes to downwards volatility in cryptocurrency. Canaan, one of the largest mining companies in China, announced it was setting up shop in neighboring Kazakhstan. This is an ideal compromise for Canaan as it can remain close to China, while mitigating their regulatory risk. Reading between the lines, it seems like the plan is to mostly continue administration of the company from China while sending the machines overseas.

This would put a wrench in the works of the Bitcoin purists who believe that the crackdowns are a good way to break up China’s dominance in the mining industry. Just this week, a professor at a university in Singapore wrote in Chinese that the shift to a more decentralized network would be a good thing. This raised some eyebrows for the use of a made up word that translates roughly to ‘de-China-ization’, but the article holds even less weight when large mining companies like Canaan are able to shift physical equipment overseas but still remain in control of the governance.

Too big for postage stamps

On June 21, CNBC’s Beijing Bureau Chief Eunice Yoon posted on Twitter that a logistics company in Guangzhou was shipping 3,000 kilograms worth of mining hardware to Maryland, US. According to her claim, the price was $9.37 per kilogram. Some quick math reveals that the total cost would be less than the price of one Bitcoin, at least at the time of writing.

Bitmain lends a helping hand

Cointelegraph reported on June 23 that massive mining company Bitmain was suspending sales of mining hardware in a move to support the over-supplied secondhand markets. According to the article, sales of hashing power in China has seen a decrease of around 75% since the Spring. Bitmain is reportedly moving operations abroad as well, which would be a major move for the hardware manufacturing giant.

Mine-ami

Francis Suarez, everyone’s favorite Bitcoin-friendly mayor, was at it again on June 18 when he announced that all Chinese Bitcoin miners were welcome in Miami. The announcement was translated and posted on Sina Finance’s Blockchain Weibo account, which attracted over 53 comments from surprised netizens. Most of these user comments were negative in nature however, both towards Suarez and Bitcoin in general. A large portion of Weibo users hold cryptocurrencies in ill-regard, especially those that have been investing in the stagnant Chinese stock market.

Amber is the color of your energy

Amber, a cryptocurrency service provider based in Hong Kong, completed a Series B funding round worth $100m. Amber is well known among institutions for their financial services that include asset management, OTC services and lending.

Alipay’s foray into NFTs

Top payment processor Alipay continues to push its AntChain technology by partnering with the Dunhuang Research Academy to release 8,000 NFT skins. Dunhuang is famous for being an old silk road outpost and is home to Mogao Caves, a Unesco Heritage site. The NFTs featured artwork inspired by the cultural site and quickly sold out. AntChain is a private blockchain developed by Alibaba’s Ant Group.

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2021 Crypto Market Stats Show a Number of Other Coins Gained More Than Bitcoin

2021 Crypto Market Stats Show a Number of Other Coins Gained More Than BitcoinDuring the end of 2020 and into 2021, a great number of digital assets have seen significant gains and the bearish season that followed 2017 has turned its course. Bitcoin touched an all-time price high on February 11, 2021, reaching $49k per coin and three-month stats show bitcoin is up 198%. Despite the phenomenal 90-day […]
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Miami mayor aiming for ‘the most progressive crypto laws’

“We want to make sure that we believe that if all things are equal, we win,” said Mayor Francis Suarez.

Francis Suarez, who has served as the mayor of Miami since 2017, wants to make the city the most attractive in the United States for those in the crypto and blockchain industry.

In an interview with Forbes published Sunday, Suarez said lawmakers in Miami were looking into the policies of crypto-friendly areas like Wyoming and New York in an effort to promote regulatory incentives for crypto and blockchain in Florida.

“[Miami is] making sure that we have the most progressive crypto laws,” said Suarez. “We want to make sure that we believe that if all things are equal, we win. So, we just want to equalize the playing field. We want to make sure that nobody has an advantage over us based on laws that are easily changeable.”

Mayor Suarez did not describe the race to be the regulatory winner as a fight between lawmakers in other jurisdictions. Rather, he gave Wyoming “kudos for being smart” in attracting crypto firms, but added that “every city in America and in the world should be trying to grow its technology ecosystem.”

“We’re working on making sure that our incentives are in place and that our legislation promotes crypto and blockchain and is forward-thinking.”

The mayor has already made several bullish statements on Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto in recent weeks, including having Miami consider letting city employees to get paid in BTC rather than U.S. dollars. He also proposed allowing Miami residents to pay for local fees and taxes using crypto as well as investing some of the city’s treasury into Bitcoin, a task he called “the hardest” of the three ideas.

He has already spoken with a few high-profile figures in the crypto community including a meeting with Gemini co-founders Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. Earlier this month, Tyler said that the mayor is “leading the way for governments and Bitcoin.”

Mayor Suarez did not provide a timeline as to when these actions may take effect for Miami’s 450,000 residents, but some in the crypto community have seemingly taken notice. Last week, Bitcoin 2021 announced it would be moving from Los Angeles to Miami for its June crypto conference.

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Miami mayor says city employees should be able to take their salaries in Bitcoin

Miami wants to overtake Silicon Valley as the most Bitcoin-friendly place in the U.S.

Miami city employees could soon choose to get their salaries paid in Bitcoin rather than USD. In an interview with Forbes, Mayor Francis Suarez said tangible paths to expand Bitcoin’s adoption throughout the city included enabling city employee salaries to be paid in BTC.

Major figures in the cryptocurrency world have responded positively to the idea, with Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey calling it “smart” on Twitter.

Germini co-founder Tyler Winklevoss stated that the mayor is “leading the way for governments and Bitcoin.”

Mayor Suarez told Forbes that due to the rise in crypto’s popularity among citizens, he wants to do everything he can to make Miami a Bitcoin-friendly city. Other proposals include allowing local fees and taxes to be paid in Bitcoin and certain other cryptocurrencies, as well as investing some of the city’s treasury into Bitcoin, following Microstrategy’s example.

Although he isn’t sure of specific amounts, Suarez explained that the treasury investment would be structured as a public-private partnership, with the private partners receiving some of the rewards for alleviating some of the risks.

He also revealed that he’s also considering financing his reelection campaign in Bitcoin. He isn’t the first to turn to Bitcoin to help fund political campaigns with Democrat Andrew Yang, California U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, Minnesota U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, and Libertarian Lara Loomer among U.S. politicians who have already accepted cryptocurrencies in past campaigns.

The mayor believes Bitcoin will be the “biggest story for the next few years.”

Late last year the mayor called Bitcoin a “stable investment” during an “incredibly unstable year.” Last week, he uploaded Bitcoin’s whitepaper onto the government’s website saying:

“The City of Miami believes in Bitcoin and I’m working day and night to turn Miami into a hub for crypto innovation.”

The mayor told Forbes that he has reached out to other states and jurisdictions, including Caitlin Long in Wyoming and Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis to help drive Bitcoin-friendly changes in Florida’s legislature. These efforts are part of the city’s push to be the next major tech hub in the U.S. with plans to grow innovation and tech growth in the next few years.

Should these actions take effect, Miami’s 450,000 citizens may be encouraged to start transacting in Bitcoin on a regular basis, with the potential for this to spread to the rest of Florida’s 21.5 million residents. It would also make the city more attractive for blockchain-related tech companies and events.

Major crypto conference Bitcoin 2021 announced earlier today it was moving from Los Angeles to Miami in June this year.

Although Miami may be the first U.S. city to offer employees salaries in Bitcoin, other companies have also been exploring this. Last week, Cointelegraph reported that software development services provider Sequoia Holdings, based in Virginia, is offering employees the ability to sacrifice a portion of their salary to invest in either Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), or Ether (ETH).

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