Central bank speaks out, BTC searches down and HK fund backs Animoca

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.

China crackdown: Week 7

The summer of crackdowns continued this week, making it seven weeks since the initial announcement on May 18 that virtual currencies were a risky investment and financial institutions should not provide services for them. The crackdown appears to be having a desired effect as public interest in the asset class is cooling. This is evident by 90-day lows on WeChat searches for the word ‘Bitcoin’ over the past weekend, although this was a trend mirrored on worldwide Google searches as well.

The central bank was the aggressor this week, posting an announcement on its website on July 6 that it and other relevant institutions are not allowed to directly or indirectly provide customers with virtual currency-related services. The announcement also mentioned that institutions can not provide services such as business venues, commercial displays, marketing campaigns and payment diversion for business activities related to virtual currencies. As usual, comments on Weibo were strongly in favor of the regulation as China’s social media still has a vocal section of traditional investors.

Jack Ma’s fund apes in

On July 1, NFT gaming giant Animoca Brands announced it had received $50 million in investment from Blue Pool Capital. Blue Pool Capital was created by tech entrepreneur Jack Ma in 2015 and manages a portion of his $52.1 billion net worth. Blue Pool Capital is also managing a portion of Joe Tsai’s wealth, who is the current Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba. Animoca Brands develops and publishes NFT games such as REVV Motorsport and The Sandbox.

Miners in the money

The BTC mining hash rate is still down around 50% as Chinese miners sit on the sidelines or look to relocate. This led to a difficulty adjustment…

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