Hong Kong completes first DCEP trial as China warns cryptocurrency investors

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OKX Learn
2021.05.20

OKX Insights takes a look at the latest blockchain and cryptocurrency-related news in China and Hong Kong — China Market Watch

The nonfungible token sphere received a massive boost in Hong Kong this week as blockchain gaming company Animoca Brands became a unicorn company with a $1 billion valuation. The company recently raised $88.88 million in its latest funding round.

Meanwhile, China’s digital currency, DCEP, continued to see progress as the Hong Kong Monetary Authority concluded the first phase of its digital currency testing. The trial was a success, and the central bank is discussing the next testing phase with the People’s Bank of China.

On the regulatory front, the China Internet Finance Association warned the public about the risks of investing in cryptocurrency. The association highlighted four issues in a joint statement with the China Banking Association and China Payment and Clearing Association.

Here’s everything you may have missed regarding these stories, and more, in this week’s edition of China Market Watch from OKX Insights. 

Animoca Brands claims crypto unicorn status

Animoca Brands, a Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming group, recently raised $88,888,888 — giving it unicorn status. The capital funding round garnered notable investors, such as Kingsway Capital and HashKey Fintech Investment Fund.

Key takeaways

  • Animoca Brands is the first blockchain gaming company to receive unicorn status in Hong Kong. The company uses blockchain and nonfungible tokens to bring digital property rights to video game players.
  • A unicorn company is a privately held startup with at least a $1 billion company valuation. Animoca Brands claimed its unicorn status following its delisting from the Australian Stock Exchange in March 2020.
  • Animoca Brands is a leader in branded blockchain gaming. Its product suite includes partnerships with Formula 1, Marvel and the WWE. The company also invested in notable NFT-related businesses — such as Dapper Labs, the company behind CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot.
  • The new capital will be put to use making strategic investments and securing new intellectual property licenses.

Hong Kong completes first DCEP testing phase

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority confirmed that the first phase of its DCEP testing was completed successfully. The central bank tested DCEP in related applications and cross-border purchases.

Key takeaways

  • The HKMA is in talks with the People’s Bank of China on the next phase of technical DCEP testing, which will extend the trial to cross-border payments.
  • It is estimated that the cross-border payment costs in Hong Kong range from $20 billion to $40 billion, annually. The use of DCEP in Hong Kong is expected to massively reduce cross-border payment costs.

Chinese financial regulators warn crypto investors

The China Internet Finance Association warned the public about the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies. The association listed four issues in a joint statement with the China Banking Association and China Payment and Clearing Association:

  1. Institutions should understand the nature of Bitcoin and digital currencies.
  2. Financial institutions should not engage in crypto-related business transactions.
  3. China does not offer legal protection for crypto-related investment contracts.
  4. Financial institutions should abide by existing regulations regarding digital currencies.

Key takeaways

  • The joint statement released by regulators is aimed at mitigating speculative activities in cryptocurrencies. Per the statement, cryptocurrencies are neither real currencies nor mediums of exchange for goods and services.
  • The regulators’ cryptocurrency claims are consistent with the Beijing Arbitration Commission’s ruling in July 2020 that BTC is a virtual commodity.


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