HONG KONG TOURISTS DECLINE DIGITAL YUAN
China’s digital yuan hasn’t been on the menu for mainland tourists from Hong Kong.
Despite significant incentives to pick up hardware wallets designed to hold and exchange the CCP’s CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency), the vast majority of tourists so far are turning the offer down.
The latest digital yuan test is happening in Luohu, an area of the Shenzhen province bordering the financial mecca that was once operated by the British on a long term lease.
Hong Kong residents have rebelled against encroaching Chinese “integration” political and social strictures, in 2019 and again during COVID in 2022.
In hopes that the government could induce a take-up of 50,000 digital yuan hard wallets between 22 February and 31 March, authorities launched a program in Luohu to make hardware wallets easily acquirable solely to Hong Kong residents, via vending machines, according to AMBCrypto.
But the outlet reported that as of 26 February, only a little over 600 wallets had been activated.
That, despite wallet use incentives that include 20 percent off purchases in the city, via a government “consumption subsidy.”
Wallet users are required to enter their real name, place of residence and other personal info.
Ambcrypto noted that China again pumped incentives into its CBDC program timed with the lunar new year, including making 14.1 million dollars worth of digital yuan available to wallet holders in the Shenzhen region.
Despite these efforts to promote CBDC, the Hong Kong uptake project has underwhelmed, partly, some have speculated, due to availability of other established payment services like Alipay and Wechat.
U.S. CONTINUES TO BLOW CRYPTO OPPORTUNITY
Instead of tackling and establishing clear guidelines and guardrails for the crypto sector, the U.S. is squandering its chance to lead and profit via crypto innovations.
It’s something Blockchain Battles has been chronicling and forecasting for several years now.
An article this past week from CoinDesk hits an array of details that quantify just how badly the U.S. is blowing it.
At this point, new crypto firms are looking for just about anywhere except the U.S. to set up shop.
And no, consumers aren’t being made safer by the SEC’s Gary Gensler, who was busy rubbing elbows with Sam Bankman-Fried at the exact same time the FTX grifter was siphoning client assets and funneling tens of millions to mostly Democrat election efforts in 2022.
Gensler has spearheaded the Biden administration’s regulatory war on cryptos, and it’s going about as well as the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
As CoinDesk pointed out, other regions are happily stepping in with clearer rules and frameworks as the (it seems destined to be former) world financial leader lashes out with muddled statements and actions like Joe Biden at any average public event.
Dubai recently enacted a new crypto regulatory framework. Singapore has long been a lure for Web3 projects because of its relative simplicity and crypto friendliness, CoinDesk noted. Hong Kong—even under a watchful mainland eye—is attempting to become a Web3 center for Asia, if not the entire world. Japan is also proving crypto friendly.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is scaring off crypto startups.
“I can tell you from firsthand experience, as a crypto founder myself, every single lawyer we have met with has advised us against considering the U.S. due to the regulatory uncertainty,” Boyd Cohen, CEO of video-game developer Iomob, provided a take to CoinDesk that has become fairly typical.
Stateside policy appears to have coalesced around the notion that its CBDC plans and crypto can’t synergistically co-exist.
That idea foolishly misapprehends the scale and widespread nature of crypto innovations.
As we’ve pointed out, cryptos not only innovate in the area of finance and money. Their tokenized networks hold promise for every other sector as well.
That’s because crypto technology has introduced decentralized, trustless and transparent frameworks for developing and distributing digital solutions that contain built-in investment, reward and project participation mechanisms.
Not every crypto project meets all those aspects. And properly regulating centralized exchanges and crypto firms is of course crucial.
But unless and until politicos truly grok the crypto revolution, they will continue to make misguided decisions. One monumental mistake would be to think that central banks can just take over what cryptos have innovated.
Yet that seems to be the implicit Biden administration stance.
For related reading, see:
- “THE GEOPOLITICS OF BITCOIN” (27 Jul 2021)
- “THE CRYPTO “AGE OF UTILITY” HAS JUST BEGUN” (12 Oct 2021)
- “CBDC OUT TO PRESERVE STATUS QUO FOR HAVE AND HAVE NOT COUNTRIES, SAYS NEW STUDY” (24 May 2022)
- “CAN INNOVATION OUTPACE GREED, WAR AND CORRUPTION?” (27 Sep 2022)
- “CRYPTO FLOWING TO DEVELOPING REGIONS” (24 Jan 2023)