Značka: Peoples Bank of China

Chinese food delivery giant joins CBDC efforts

China’s food delivery giant Meituan has become the latest tech firm to integrate central bank digital currency (CBDC) payments for its services.Meituan users can link the digital yuan wallet to their service app and use it for a range of daily services such as booking hotels, cabs and paying at restaurants. The food delivery and daily services app recorded 660 million transacting customers last year, and the integration of e-CNY payments would only help the Beijing government to test its sovereign digital currency more widely.Over the past few months, major tech giants in the country such as WeChat and JD.com have joined the mass retail testing of e-CNY.China completed the development of its CBDC in 2019 itself, and over the past two years, the authorities have been extensively testing its use in the retail market. The CBDC pilot began as a travel subsidy for government employees and later expanded to include millions of people and thousands of businesses.While there hasn’t been any indication of a public launch yet, many believe the growing pace of trials suggests that the government might be looking to launch the CBDC during the upcoming winter Olympics starting on February 4th.Related: US lawmakers don’t want Olympic athletes to use digital yuan at 2022 gamesZou Lan, director of the PBOC’s financial markets department has said that the cumulative transactions in e-CNY have reached 87.57 billion yuan ($13.68 billion). By the end of October 2021, nearly 10 million merchants had activated digital yuan wallets.China is currently at the top of the CBDC game, having started the development for the same as early as 2014. While 91 nations have started their CBDC development, only a handful have reached the pilot phase including China, South Korea, Switzerland and France. The United States is currently in the discussion phase and lawmakers weighing in the pros and cons of a sovereign digital currency.

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Chinese police unearth multi-million dollar DeFi rug pull

Beijing’s crackdown on crypto continued with the start of the new year as Chinese police froze nearly 6 million yuan ($1 million) worth of crypto and arrested eight people involved with it. As per a report published in Nikkei Asia, the public security bureau of Chizhou unearthed a crypto rug pull fraud that could be worth 50 million yuan ($7.8 million). The police began an investigation after an investor lost 590,000 yuan worth of crypto in June last year. The trail of the inquiry led to eight people living in different provinces. The police also seized luxury cars, villas and other expensive items from the accused that were allegedly purchased using the defrauded money.The fraudulent DeFi program lured investors with promises of high returns by swapping liquidity. However, after investors put in their money, the scammers laundered the money from anonymous pools and got away with all the funds. The Chizhou public security said:”After the investigation and analysis by the police task force, it was found that this case was a typical case of illegally obtaining virtual currency by using blockchain technology.”Rug pulls have become one of the most common scams in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space, as it is comparatively easier to pull off. According to Chainalysis data investors lost over $2.8 billion to rug pulls in 2021. These types of scams often lure investors promising high returns, and once the pool has got enough capital, the scammers run away with all the money. Chainalysis report said: “Rug pulls have emerged as the go-to scam of the DeFi ecosystem, accounting for 37% of all cryptocurrency scam revenue in 2021, versus just 1% in 2020.”Related: CertiK identifies Arbix Finance as a rug pull, warns users to steer clearWhile crypto use for criminal activities is estimated to be around 1% of the total circulation supply, the growing scams in the DeFi space have affected investors’ confidence. However, it is also important to note that these scams often prey on the vulnerabilities of the end-user rather than an inherent issue with the crypto technology. This is evident from the top15 biggest rug pull data that shows most of the big scams happened with new tokens promising high returns.

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China’s central bank releases pilot version of digital yuan wallet

As China’s central bank steps up its effort to create a digital currency, the country has released a pilot edition of its digital yuan wallet application on mobile phone app stores.The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) digital currency research institute developed the “e-CNY (Pilot Version)” app, which was available for download on Chinese Android and Apple app stores on Tuesday in Shanghai.According to a tweet from BlockBeats, a local news source, individual users in China now can download an earlier version of the app to test opening and managing a personal wallet, as well as digital yuan transactions.The e-CNY app is now available on iOS and Android app stores.This App is the official service platform of China’s CBDC for individual users to carry out pilot trials, providing e-CNY personal wallet opening and management, e-CNY exchange and circulation services.#CBDC pic.twitter.com/c8S1newxiw— BlockBeats (@BlockBeatsChina) January 4, 2022However, according to a report from Reuters, the app claims it is in an experimental research and development phase and is only accessible to select individuals through authorized e-CNY service providers. In late fall 2021, PBOC Governor Yi Gang stated that the country would continue to develop its central bank digital currency (CBDC) and improve design and usage, including enhancing interoperability with current payment systems. The PBOC announced in a year-end meeting that it would continue to push for the further development of the digital yuan.Related: China wants US senators to ‘stop making trouble’ out of digital yuanChina has taken a significant lead in developing a CBDC for public use, outstripping the majority of countries, which are still in the research stages of a CBDC. The People’s Bank of China said the digital currency could be used during the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. However, Senators from the United States expressed concern over this claim, stating that American athletes should not utilize the currency at an event hosted in China.The Federal Reserve, on the other hand, is still contemplating whether or not to introduce a CBDC for the United States. As reported by Cointelegraph in September, the United States’ central bank stated that it is studying the benefits of creating a digital dollar and will eventually present a paper on the subject.

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Chinese companies embark on a metaverse trademark race

Despite the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) warning on metaverse and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) in November, more than a thousand Chinese companies have submitted thousands of metaverse-related trademark applications.In a summit back in November, Gou Wenjun, the PBOC’s AML and Analysis Center Director, warned about the dangers of digital assets. According to Gou, because virtual assets have no physical basis, they can be used for illegal financial activities. Gou cited activities such as “illegal fundraising, pyramid schemes, and fraud.”However, ignoring the PBOC’s warnings, Chinese companies rushed to register metaverse-related trademarks such as “metaverse satellite” and “metaverse exhibition.” According to the South China Morning Post, more than 1,360 Chinese companies submitted 8,534 trademark applications related to the metaverse by Sunday. Tencent said to sharpen focus on metaverse-like developments with advanced new gaming studio https://t.co/0CpQbrzxd8— South China Morning Post (@SCMPNews) October 20, 2021Most of the companies that applied for trademark registrations are tech firms. This includes big companies like Huawei and Hisense. The former applied to register “Meta OS” while the latter applied with several trademarks in various areas like social services, advertising, and science. Gaming and tech giant Tencent also joined in, having registered almost a hundred metaverse-related trademark applications including “QQ Metaverse”, “QQ Music Metaverse,” and “Kings Metaverse.” Aside from the PBOC’s warning, People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, also issued a warning about the metaverse back on Dec. 9. The newspaper warned people who engage in digital asset purchases — namely, that property sales within metaverses carry high risks of volatility. Related: We saw mainstream adoption for NFT art kicking off in 2021, says NFT.NYC co-founder Cameron BaleThe trademark applications didn’t come as a surprise to many as demand for NFTs is on the rise. According to the NFT sales tracker Crypto Slam, NFT sales in the past seven days alone amount to $580.7 million. According to research by Cointelegraph Consulting, NFT sales are expected to top $17.7 billion in 2021.

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Chinese crypto ban poses no threat to local industry media, sources say

While some major Chinese cryptocurrency-related publications seem to be shutting down, a number continue to be run by local news agencies that have switched to social media like Twitter.China’s most recent crypto ban would not significantly affect local crypto media sources as there are a number of ways to disseminate industry information, according to an executive at one of the biggest crypto publications in China.The exec, who asked to remain anonymous, told Cointelegraph on Wednesday that several local crypto sites have been moving their community to other media channels like Twitter and Telegram after the government enforced a new crypto ban in September. “They are trying to share more info there and keep low key on their websites,” the person said, adding, “We can get all the info we want from Twitter.”“More Chinese people came to Twitter and Telegram, some of them also have high quality,” another crypto media insider, who also wished to remain anonymous, told Cointelegraph.They noted that the People’s Bank of China declared all “virtual currency-related business activities” illegal, which caused some cloud service providers to cut services to websites like BlockBeats and Odaily. But this didn’t prevent them from posting industry news as they continued operating through new domains and shifted focus to posting on Twitter and Telegram.According to the media insider, ​​these websites were blocked because they are based in Beijing. “Media outside Beijing are not blocked,” the person said. Some crypto publications like Jinse, Panews and 8btc were apparently not affected by the latest crypto ban.The Chinese crypto media exec stressed that the crypto world is fated to be decentralized, stating:“There’s always hope for the Chinese crypto industry. We still have information sources and we keep getting more and more users, evangelists, developers and others. There’s nothing to worry about. Everything happens for the best.”Related: China’s central bank proposes to monitor metaverse and NFTsOne Chinese crypto side, major industry source ChainNews, went offline in November. According to Cointelegraph’s sources, ChainNews decided to shut down services late that month. The publication’s last post on its Telegram channel is dated Nov. 25. The website had more than 1.5 million visits last month, according to data from SimilarWeb.

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