Animoca Founder highlights China’s influence on Hong Kong’s crypto push.

Animoca Founder highlights China's influence on Hong Kong's crypto push.

Crypto Push in China: A Paradigm Shift in Technology

Yat Siu, the founder of Animoca Brands, recently shed light on China’s influence on the development of the crypto industry in Hong Kong. Speaking at the 2023 Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC), Siu pointed out that Hong Kong’s crypto initiatives are not solely driven by local considerations but are part of a broader message originating from China’s central government.

While mainland China implemented restrictions on cryptocurrencies over two years ago, Siu believes that Hong Kong’s crypto trend goes beyond the city-state and reflects larger shifts happening in China itself. Siu highlighted China’s release of its Web3 whitepaper in May, which he sees as a signal of the government’s recognition of Web3 as the future of the internet.

According to Siu, China’s decision to allocate a budget towards advancing Web3 demonstrates the government’s commitment to fostering innovation and embracing decentralized technologies. He also emphasized that news about Hong Kong’s crypto developments, including plans for retail crypto investments, received significant attention in China, even being featured on the national TV channel, China Central Television.

Challenging the Dominance of US Technology Companies

In his keynote speech, Siu expressed the view that Web3 represents a powerful tool to challenge the dominance of United States technology companies and drive a shift in the technology paradigm. He highlighted the potential security risks associated with nations heavily relying on tech giants such as Alphabet Inc, Apple Inc, and Meta Platforms Inc.

Countries like Japan, South Korea, and China are actively pushing for Web3 adoption as an opportunity to break away from the dominance of US-based technologies. Siu emphasized the importance of fighting US hegemony and reducing reliance on the US dollar, particularly for countries like China. He believes that Web3 technologies play a role in this transformation by providing alternative systems that can potentially diminish the worldwide supremacy of the US dollar.

China’s Crypto Industry Dynamics

Despite the official ban on virtually all crypto activities announced by the People’s Bank of China in 2021, mainland China has continued to make significant strides in the industry. The ban did not completely eliminate crypto mining operations in the country. Recently, the Bank of China announced a partnership with China Telecom and China Unicom, two major telecom operators, to enable offline transactions for the digital yuan via SIM cards.

This dynamic has led some crypto observers to express hope that China might eventually reconsider its stance and lift the ban, especially considering Hong Kong’s proactive adoption of crypto-friendly regulations. However, several state-related executives, including CPIC Investment Management CEO Chenggang Zhou, have reiterated that China maintains an anti-crypto stance and is expected to continue doing so in the near future.

In summary, China’s influence on Hong Kong’s crypto development signifies a paradigm shift in technology. The government’s recognition of Web3 and its budget allocation towards advancing decentralized technologies demonstrate China’s commitment to innovation. Web3 adoption is seen as a means to challenge the dominance of US technology companies and reduce reliance on the US dollar. Despite the ban on crypto activities in mainland China, the industry continues to evolve, giving rise to hopes of a potential reconsideration in the future.