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Litecoin

US senators tell athletes to avoid digital yuan, Chinese exchange volumes rebound… and more – Cointelegraph Magazine

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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.  

Olympic battle

After months of writing about the relentless actions of the Chinese government, this week we lead with a story from the United States government. On July 19, three U.S. senators signed a letter addressed to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, requesting that U.S. athletes not use the digital yuan in February’s Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. The logic was that the digital currency would be traceable after the athletes returned to the U.S., in case China was interested in tracking foreign biathletes and bobsledders in their offseason training regimens. 

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, snapped back that the senators “should stop making troubles” and “figure out what a digital currency really is.” Zhao apparently believes that the U.S. lawmakers might not be up-to-date on the latest in technology, something the crypto enthusiasts on Twitter have been bemoaning for years. 

All sarcasm aside, this points to a growing trend of consumers being caught in geopolitical struggles around technology, which could become a much larger issue as central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, become more prevalent. Users can choose to avoid certain hardware or apps that provide a data security risk, but avoiding the local currency will be a much more difficult choice to make. Cash use has dropped to a negligible amount in China, with the bulk of daily transactions being digital through Alipay and WeChat. Traveling or living in China without touching the digital currency will be a huge inconvenience, and one likely to not go over well with future generations.

Leading the pack

On July 19, Cointelegraph reported that Chinese Bitcoin miners had earned close to $7 billion dollars in the past year, 10 times more than miners in the second-highest country, the United States. This trend might be broken up slightly by the regulatory crackdown this year but still shows the influence China has on the industry, especially if large Chinese companies can continue to set up operations in neighboring countries.

 

 

Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity’s token is taking off faster than the game in China. Source: Axie Infinity

 

Chinese volumes bounce back

 

Volumes on Chinese exchanges Huobi and OKEx rebounded slightly compared with the same time last week, including on the derivatives side where the two exchanges made up around 44% of Binance’s volume, compared with only 38.7% at the same time the week before. Gaming token Axie Infinity’s AXS remained a hot token for trading and was the fourth-most traded token on Huobi on Thursday behind BTC, ETH and DOGE. Actual gameplay hasn’t really taken off in China, and even though the site remains unblocked by the Great Firewall thus far, visits to the website are still scarce. Users from the Philippines make up 40% of website visitors, whereas China accounted for less than 3%. China boasts the largest gaming community in the world, but tight restrictions on cryptocurrencies are likely to limit the growth of public blockchain-based gaming for the time being. Speculating on gaming-related tokens, however, will likely remain a strong trend. 

It’s worth noting that in the short term, the regulations looming on the horizon make betting on exchanges a risky proposition. Many rumors have swirled about upcoming action to be taken by Chinese regulators, particularly for repeat offenders in the area. Regulators in smaller countries seem to be waiting to see who will throw the first punch. 

Nonfungible fossils

Hong Kong’s most prominent newspaper South China Morning Post is launching an NFT platform aimed at historical news and items. This platform will let verified issuers mint and trade NFTs in an open marketplace. This should appeal to a broader audience of collectors and non-crypto-native users in Southeast Asia, as well as a government interested in exporting soft power to the world.

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Blockchain

Betfair Exchange & Blockchain Algorithms Announce High Profile Deal

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Breon Corcoran

The software based investment company have predicted that clients will trade over £105 million during the Premier League 2021/22

Betfair Group (LSE:BETF)

We have known each other a long time. I used to wear a green jacket. We have been speaking intensely over the summer and warmly for a time before that.”

— Breon Corcoran

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, July 30, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Betfair Exchange and Blockchain Algorithms have reached an agreement until 2025.

The new deal would keep both brands in Europe, have headquarters in both Dublin and London and all trades would be placed through Betfair Exchange.

The two companies issued a joint statement, which read: “The possible merger for trades would create one of the world’s largest public online betting/trading and gaming companies by revenue with enlarged scale, capability and distinctive and complementary brands.

“The combination has compelling strategic logic and represents an attractive opportunity for both companies to enhance their position in online betting and trading for Blockchain Algorithms. It will deliver synergies, customer benefits and shareholder value.”

Breon Corcoran, who left Blockchain Algorithms in 2016 to become chief executive of Betfair, said: “These are two businesses that are performing at a very high calibre and we will have a market leading position in the UK, Europe, Ireland and Australia.”

“We are paying a slight premium but I regard this as a merger of equals. We have known each other a long time. I used to wear a green jacket. We have been speaking intensely over the summer and warmly for a time before that.”

Mr Corcoran will now become the head of the combined group, which is subject to receiving approval from the competition authorities and the two companies hope the deal would be complete in August just before the start of the Premier League.

The merger is the latest round of consolidation in a sector where companies are searching for scale to compete in the face of greater tax and regulation. Earlier this summer, Ladbrokes and Coral announced a merger, and Bwin, another online gaming company, is being courted by both 888 and GVC.

Less than a month ago, Paddy Power’s Twitter account joked that after the Ladbrokes and Coral merger, it had joined forces with Betfair. “Our new name is Betty Power,” it said.

The stock exchange reacted positively to the merger plan announcement with Betfair’s shares up 17.5%.

Betfair Exchange
Betfair International
email us here



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