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How Will China’s DCEP Affect WeChat Pay and Alipay?

With the growing interest and adoption of cryptocurrencies, about 80% of central banks worldwide are looking to create their own cryptocurrency. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is at the forefront of them all. China’s central bank has been working on its DCEP for about six years now. In 2018, China’s Central Bank former governor […]

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With the growing interest and adoption of cryptocurrencies, about 80% of central banks worldwide are looking to create their own cryptocurrency. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is at the forefront of them all. China’s central bank has been working on its DCEP for about six years now.

In 2018, China’s Central Bank former governor Zhou Xiaochua pointed out that it will take nothing less than a decade for its digital yuan to be fully functional. However, several events have propelled this timeline forward. One of which was the proposed launch of Facebook’s highly-controversial stablecoin Libra.

Covid-19 Has Helped Speed up Development

The current onslaught of the novel coronavirus and tensions resulting from US-China trade hostility has also placed a level of urgency on its DCEP launch. Though sandbox testing has been ongoing since 2017, PBoC finally held trials in April.

The testing involved four different cities in China namely: Shenzhen, Xiong’an, Chengdu, and Suzhou. While trials were ongoing, the Agricultural Bank of China also launched an e-wallet to serve as storage for the digital yuan.

How Will the DCEP Affect WeChat Pay and Alipay?

The China digital currency space is completely saturated by Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay. Amounting to a whopping $49 trillion market, over 500 times bigger than electronic payments in the US. The Duo (Alipay and WeChat Pay) have single-handedly transformed China into a nearly-cashless economy.

The proposed launch of China’s digital yuan could, however, could spell doom for the two fintech giants. Despite increased pressure on launching the DCEP, China’s PBOC Governor Yi Gang insists that testing is expected to continue until 2022. However, there is no finality to this timeline as the country is yet to officially confirm any detail of the DCEP launch.

Although Alipay and WeChat Pay served as the foundation of electronic payment in China, they might have to compete with the country’s digital yuan eventually.

Can Alipay and WeChat Pay coexist with China’s DCEP?

There are several pointers to the fact that China’s DCEP has no plans to usurp both fintech platforms. However, it is important to note that the digital yuan is designed to also provide the same function as both Alipay and WeChat Pay. With it, citizens will be able to make day-to-day purchases, subsequently replacing banknotes and coins in the future.

China’s DCEP might also negatively affect Ant Group’s proposed IPO launch expected to go live soon. Ant Group is looking to raise $30billion in both Hong Kong and Shanghai provinces.

It is still unclear if China’s DCEP is out to obliterate both Alipay and WeChat Pay or if it is possible for all three platforms to co-exist. 

Speaking on this issue, Ant Group in its IPO prospectus pointed out that it was still in the dark on the “impact of the DCEP on consumers’ payment behavior and the payment industry.” Adding that,

It is not clear how the DCEP will fit into or change the current digital payment industry landscape.

Ant Group

Many schools of thought, however, see the three systems as less of a competition. Analysts are positive that China’s DCEP will likely coexist with both Alipay and WeChat Pay.

There’s huge speculation that PBoC will be working with already established financial institutions instead of trying to displace them. This will help forge a clear path as well as prevent both technological and regulatory mishaps. Furthermore, to prevent a complete overthrow of already existing financial structures, the DCEP will be directed towards small, retail transactions.

Message from the Secretary Treasurer

According to Huang of Mizuho Corporate Bank, the PBoC has no plan to compete with commercial banks or other third-party payment firms. Both Ant and Tencent, parent companies of Alipay and WeChat Pay are also actively involved in launching the DCEP project. Thereby, indicating there are no plans to kill off both platforms.

Source: https://www.asiacryptotoday.com/how-will-chinas-dcep-affect-wechat-pay-and-alipay/

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Further Declines in Bitcoin Price Possible Though Grayscale is Crucial, Notes JPM Analyst

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Although Bitcoin has recovered from its vigorous price losses during the Thanksgiving massacre, analysts from JPMorgan Chase & Co believe that further declines may still occur.

The strategists pointed out that Grayscale, through its Bitcoin Trust, will play a significant role in future BTC price developments.

Is Bitcoin To Head Further South?

The primary cryptocurrency reached a new yearly high of $19,500 last week; thus, it came less than 3% away from the 2017 all-time high of $20,000. As the community began speculating on how long it will take to surpass that level, the trend reversed viciously.

Bitcoin headed south and lost over $3,000 of value in hours. Nevertheless, the cryptocurrency has recovered most of its losses and trades north of $18,000.

A JPM analysis, led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, recently said that the Thanksgiving price drops had cleared the “previous froth in momentum traders’ positioning.” However, the strategists hinted that Bitcoin could still go lower.

“Momentum traders such as commodity trading advisors and other quantitative funds likely played a big role in the slide by unwinding long Bitcoin futures positions. Momentum traders have room to further propagate” the Bitcoin decline, noted the analysts cited by Bloomberg.

Apart from broaching “momentum traders,” the strategists also discussed various other reasons behind the price developments. Those included the rumors of new regulations proposed by the Trump administration and profit-taking.

Grayscale Is Key

The JPM strategists also highlighted the significant role of Grayscale and its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust on the market. The cryptocurrency manager is the most preferred company for institutional investors to receive exposure to Bitcoin (and other digital assets) without worrying about storing the funds.

This has been exemplified through 2020 as Grayscale has reported back-to-back recording-breaking quarterly results. The assets under management (AUM) have exploded in the past 12 months to over $10 billion. Somewhat expectedly, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust has the most substantial share.

The analysts asserted that if there’s a decline in the interest towards GBTC, this could damage the narrative that Bitcoin has become a favorite among institutional investors:

“A failure by the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust to receive additional inflows over the coming weeks would also cast doubt to the idea that institutional investors such as family offices have embarked on a trend of embracing Bitcoin as digital gold replacing traditional gold as a long-term investment.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/further-declines-in-bitcoin-price-possible-though-grayscale-is-crucial-notes-jpm-analyst/

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Canaan Sees Over 75% Decline in Net Revenue in Q3 as Bitcoin’s Price Surge

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Chinese Bitcoin mining firm Canaan has recorded a loss in yet another quarter but is showing positive signs of a recovery as share price and market capitalization spikes. Following a disappointing initial public offering (IPO) last year and declining inventory sales, the company has seen the balance of power shift considerably to major competitors MicroBT and Bitmain.

$12.7 Million Loss for Q3 2020

Bitcoin miner maker Canaan has reported a 75.7% year-on-year (YOY) decline in net revenue as part of its Q3 2020 financials published on Nov. 30. In the report, Canaan revealed that its net revenue for the period was $24 million, which also amounts to an 8.5% reduction from the earnings recorded in the previous quarter.

Following the significant drop in quarter-on-quarter (QOQ) net revenue, it is unsurprising to see Canaan post another quarterly net loss in 2020. According to its Q3 2020 financials, the bitcoin mining chip maker recorded a net loss of $12.7 million, compared to a $2.5 million loss in Q2 2020 and $14.3 million in Q3 2019.

Commenting on the firm’s Q3 financial performance, Nangeng Zhang, Canaan’s CEO and Chairman said:

“During the third quarter of 2020, we remained undeterred by the pandemic to strengthen our research and development capabilities, expand our AI business, and execute new business initiatives. By leveraging our enhanced R&D capabilities in the third quarter, we launched our A1246 product series, which continues to lead the industry with its energy efficiency, computing power, and unit cost.”

Canaan Market Cap on the Rise

Net loss aside, Canaan has been recording some positives in the latter part of 2020. Indeed, the company’s market capitalization has more than tripled from $300 million in September to about $900.8 million as of press time.

Canaan’s share price has also been on a tear in recent months, rising over 200% within the same period. With one-third of Q4 remaining, the company’s stock has risen over 170%. Maintaining the current price action could see the Bitcoin miner manufacturer’s stock price challenge its IPO float price of $9, which incidentally is its all-time high share price.

Tweeting on Canaan’s Q3 performance, @WuBlockchain identified rising inventory sales and the release of the company’s A1246 miners are contributing factors to the firm’s recent resurgence.

Canaan was also among a group of Chinese mining hopefuls looking to float IPOs in the last couple of years. However, Canaan’s offerings fell short of the mark, failing to even realize a quarter of the $400 million estimate.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/canaan-sees-over-75-decline-in-net-revenue-in-q3-as-bitcoins-price-surge/

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Authorities shut off electricity to Bitcoin miners in China’s Yunnan province

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Local sources report that authorities from the city of Baoshan in the Chinese province of Yunnan are escalating efforts to crack down on Bitcoin miners, ordering electricity producers to cease supplying power to the city’s miners.

On Nov. 30, Chinese crypto reporter Colin Wu tweeted that several miners had informed him of the ban, sharing what appear to be scanned copies of official documents issued to power producers:

However, Wu added that the ban was probably informed by localized “economic interests,” and probably is not indicative of a desire to quash crypto mining on the part of Beijing: 

“There is no need to overestimate the impact of this incident. The attitude of China local power companies towards crypto mining is often changing. It is more a demand for economic interests than political pressure.”

The ban appears to have coincided with a 24-hour drop in global hash rate of roughly 10% from 140 exahashes per second to 125 EX/s, though correlation is far from causation.

According to Cambridge University’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, or BECI, Yunnan was China’s fourth-largest region by mining hash rate, behind Xinjian, Sichuan, and Inner Mongolia as of April 2020. Yunnan then represented 5.42% of global hash rate — ranking it above all countries except for China, the United States, Russia, and Kazakhstan.

In June, Wu reported that Yunnan’s government had ordered 64 unauthorized mining operations to shut down, including seven that were still under construction. The government cited tax evasion and security risks including how the mines were wired to local hydropower stations.

During that same month, a local Bitcoin mine caught on fire, resulting in the incineration of thousands of units.

The mid-year crackdown also followed a May 29 explosion at a hydropower station in Yunnan that killed six people and injured five. The explosion was believed to have prompted greater enforcement of safety standards concerning hydropower plants in the region.

In April, Yunnan’s state grid also issued a document warning electricity producers against the unauthorized diversion of power to Bitcoin mines.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/authorities-shut-off-electricity-to-bitcoin-miners-in-china-s-yunnan-province

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