Category Archives: beijing

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Bitmain Targets Development in Revamped 2019 Business Model

Bitmain Targets Development in Revamped 2019 Business Model

Bitmain appears to be in the process of repositioning itself towards development to make 2019 a far more successful year after the disappointments and layoffs of 2018 as cryptocurrency mining came under pressure.

The Beijing mining giant recently referred to last year’s negatives and positives in its latest roundup, but now seems more focused on how to turn things around after rationalizing its business model, not only through the already much hinted administrative changes at the head of the company but also by targeting development. A company blog has recently clarified its direction in 2019, suggesting that:

“Our mission is to produce hardware and software, as part of our commitment to contribute towards the security and stability of a multitude of cryptocurrencies. We look forward to continuing this effort this year, and contributing to a distributed, decentralized world that empowers everyone.”

Bitmain’s recent blog post sees the cryptocurrency industry stabilizing this year, echoing many analysts’ suggestions that institutional investors will revitalize the markets, and clearly envisages a role for ASICs, simplifying cryptocurrencies in a way that encourages their adoption as both a useful and a usable asset.

The company is not alone in hoping that sensible regulation will lead to greater adoption of crypto finance, although such moves will clearly have to wait in the US, where the SEC is running a skeleton staff due to the prolonged government shutdown.

According to the blog, now that the company has undergone significant staff cuts, there is a feeling at the top that a new leaner operation will support Bitmain’s aim to build a more sustainable and scalable business, and suggests that “part of that is having to really focus on things that are core to that mission and not things that are auxiliary”.

Time will indeed tell if consolidated focus and renewed energy in a scaled down company does make 2019 Bitmain’s year of development.

 

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Beijing to Enforce New Blockchain Laws to Monitor Internet Content

Beijing to Enforce New Blockchain Laws to Monitor Internet Content

Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the state body for internet censorship, has announced new guidelines for controlling the blockchain space in the country. The plan for tighter control over blockchain service providers was introduced in October of last year.

Beijing’s Blockchain Information Service Management Regulations will take effect from 15 February, showing how urgently the government wants to curb content which it feels might be detrimental to the state.

The new regulation has singled out blockchain providers, despite published comments over the past year coming from Beijing that blockchain has huge potential to streamline business. These regulations state that providers cannot “produce, duplicate, publish, [or] disseminate” banned content under state law.

More specifically, the new rules have defined blockchain providers as “entities or nodes” providing public information through desktop or mobile sites. Any companies providing these services will need to register with the CAC within ten days providing their names, server addresses, service types, and server addresses. No compliance with the CAC will face fines between USD 737 to USD 4,420.

The new regulations have a broad range, also incorporating news reporting, publishing, education, and pharmaceutical services, which would all be required to obtain licenses before registering with the CAC.

China has strict internet laws and the space is highly monitored by the state. It is thought that the tightening of control by the CAC is a response to those who have used blockchain tech in the past in order to circumvent Beijing’s control over the country’s internet content.

The most recent violation of China’s strict internet laws occurred in July 2018 when pharmaceutical company Changsheng Biotechnology was put in the spotlight online by bloggers who listed the firm’s transgressions on the Ethereum blockchain.

 

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Blockchain Gains IP Credence Among Chinese Legal Institutions

Blockchain Gains Credence Among Chinese Legal Institutions

Blockchain has found its way to an internet courtroom in Eastern China to get justice for writers, reports China.org.cn.

The painstaking effort exercised in getting justice for authors whose intellectual properties are misappropriated just got easier, as explained by a judge of an internet court in China,Wang Jiangqiao. He said:

“Writers used to resort to screenshots and downloaded content as evidence, which was hard to gain legal recognition as the process was not credible enough.”

But it seems with the perks of blockchain’s immutability and timestamp actions, the credibility of the facts stored on a blockchain is much more reliable. Wang added that:

“Blockchain guarantees that data cannot be tampered [with], due to its decentralized and open distributed ledger technology. Therefore, all digital footprints stored in the judicial blockchain system, [including] authorship, time of creation, content, and evidence of infringement, have legal effect.”

More so, plaintiffs have had to suffer the high cost of legal bills when seeking justice through the traditional method as Wang observed that “notarial procedures and hiring of professional lawyers push up the costs of seeking justice”.

The media outlet also reports that 107 prominent online writers have signed contracts to produce works in a “writers’ village” in the city’s Binjiang District of Hangzhou. Hangzhou is home to many, if not most, online writers in China.

Three internet courts have been situated in three districts: Hangzhou, Beijing, and Guangzhou. While internet-related cases are a norm because of the high internet activity in the country, Hangzhou appears to be in the front lead to adopt blockchain solution in solving copyright issues, first with writers.

The first time a case was solved through evidence brought forward on the basis of blockchain happened about five months back. A Chinese defendant successfully argued his innocence in the Chinese court at Hangzhou using blockchain timestamp data, clearing his name from charges of copyright theft.

It appears that writers are not the only ones who need the services of the internet court, as China is home to over 800 million internet explorers with online businesses at the heart of the activity. Other related case types being handled by the court include contract dispute arising from online shopping, product liability dispute arising from online shopping, disputes over internet service contract, disputes arising from the financial loan contract disputes and small loan contract disputes signed and executed on the Internet.

On the traditional side of things, other real-world courts are adopting the concept of blockchain as a reliable witness to intellectual property as seen in the case of the Russian Intellectual Property (IP) court successfully using a blockchain-based solution for storing copyright data.

Even though cryptocurrencies are banned in China, its Supreme Court seems to think blockchain evidence can be seen as legally binding material in court.

 

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Hong Kong Stock Exchange Looks to Blockchain and Fintech Acquisitions

Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) has announced that it is considering investments in blockchain and other fintech companies through acquisitions next year.

If this materializes, it will represent a change in direction for the exchange which has close relationships with China. Hong Kong, being an autonomous territory of China, has a political system independent from the rest of the country, affecting both the economy and its commercial system. Many Chinese businesses have moved their operations to Hong Kong after China’s crackdown on ICOs and cryptocurrency in general. These included the world’s largest exchange, Binance, which moved from Beijing to Hong Kong and other locations around the globe to escape punitive legislation.

The territory is now laying claim to becoming a major hub for cryptocurrency and blockchain in the region, even creating a recent “talent list” to employ more industry professionals to support its DLT focus in the years to come through a new employment program. A fintech lead at InvestHK reflected on Hong Kong’s push towards blockchain:

“Blockchain is a very high priority for us. There is hype, and there is the fast grab of money with ICOs in some cases. But what we are looking at building here in Hong Kong is an infrastructure for new businesses and existing businesses, to make sure the technology and innovations remain a key enabler for financial sector growth.”

Unconfirmed sources suggest that Charles Li, CEO of HKEX, is now looking at blockchain and has had meetings with both potential start-ups and established companies. Concern remains about the current poor relationship between China and the US, and how this might affect businesses in Hong Kong. This is a possible reason why the exchange is considering adopting its own venture capital model similar to that of Nasdaq.

Earlier this month, HKEX senior managers had discussed possible acquisitions and more, the results of which will be revealed next year. Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment, told Bloomberg, “The strategy is in the right direction but it is not easy to achieve the targets. HKEX needs to maintain a momentum of growth by exploring new businesses.”

In March, Financial Times reported that HKEX was collaborating with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) to implement blockchain. Perhaps, this is an indication of the direction the exchange is willing to take when it reveals its plans next year. Blockchain company acquisitions may be on the table.

 

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