China to Meet With Australia to Deploy Blockchain Technology Commercially

A delegation of top-level Chinese technology executives is visiting Australia this week to explore the future and implementation of blockchain into industry.

Australia Hosts First Blockchain Meeting

The delegation which is made up of the elite of China’s Fintech companies including Senior managers from Ant Financial, WeBank,, ZhongAn, Wanxiang and OnChain.

The group is being led by Ming Li, director of the China Electronics Standardisation Institute, which has responsibility for setting blockchain industry standards under China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The delegation is set to explore developments in global blockchain standards where Australia is taking a lead role by hosting the first international blockchain standards meeting for the “ISO/TC 307” group next month, chaired by Westpac Banking Corp director Craig Dunn.

The delegation is tasked with both exploring the next step in blockchain architecture that will be the basis of “the internet of value” and to send the message that China will be aggressive in implementing this technology.

China wants Blockchain Not Bitcoin

As Chinese companies go proactively into the future of blockchain technology the government continues to express its dislike of cryptocurrency.

Once home to the majority of the worlds cryptomarket activity the Chinese government began cracking down on trading digital currency and the release of ICO’s.

Zhou Xiaochuan governor of the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) spoke this week about the Banks official stance of nonrecognition of cryptocurrency and plans to ramp up regulation of both the trade and companys launching ICO’s.

We don’t like cryptocurrency products that make huge opportunity for speculation that gives people the illusion of getting rich overnight.

Zhou went to say that cryptocurrencies are inevitable but that they had strayed from the useful path of being a secure and safe way to quickly and easily move money.

That they are now used by people as a get rich quick scheme that can end up costing people their life savings.

Local news outlets interpreted his speech as possibly the first move to creating a nationally backed cryptocurrency. Zhou ended with hopes that public and private agencies can partner together for further research and development.

Later the same day the founder of Okcoin made a statement over social media that the company was ready to work with the government.

Despite the regulations of Bitcoin and like alt currencies there are more than 150 blockchain-enabled companies in China. This may seem ironic as blockchain was developed to allow people to anonymously buy and sell what they wish thus circumnavigating government control.

However, blockchain can also be set up to allow a government full visibility of transactions across the network.

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It has been a while since any positive news came out of China regarding cryptocurrencies. That trend is likely to continue as the People’s Republic ramps up its censorship machine to include cryptocurrency chat groups and messenger services.

This zero tolerance policy is also expanding to international crypto trading activities by Chinese citizens.  It has been reported that the crypto community in China is on edge over another regulatory crackdown which is expected in a couple of weeks.

Messaging and Chat Censorship

Since the PRC banned ICOs, and then clamped down local exchanges, traders have taken to messaging and chat platforms to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. The burgeoning Chinese internet police division has now eyed those in its latest efforts to stamp out all instances of cryptocurrencies within the country.

Wechat is huge in China and many have taken to it as a blockchain and crypto forum for discussion and trading. Some groups however have been closed down ahead of another potential crackdown on crypto. The pressure is mounting and one “3am Sleepless Wechat Group” focused on crypto was self-silenced yesterday.

Telegram is also popular in the country as it is encrypted. A screenshot from one conversation has been widely shared claiming that a People’s Bank of China clampdown announcing major policies to restrict cryptocurrency in China will occur around March 15. This date is a holiday in China and one often used by the government for imposing new policies.

Banning the Banned

What else can be done is still unclear. China has already taken a number of steps to eradicate cryptocurrencies in the county which include outlawing ICOs, restricting exchanges, and forcing mining operations overseas. Many have shifted businesses to Hong Kong where the atmosphere is far more relaxed and crypto trading is open and unencumbered.

One of the remaining exchanges in the country, Huobi, was reportedly moving its remaining staff in China to Singapore as the crypto exodus continues. It had also been reported that China’s Public Information Network Security Supervision has been closely monitoring foreign cryptocurrency exchanges, in addition to domestic platforms that have shifted overseas.

Crackdowns are nothing new in China, the internet itself behind the Great Firewall is one of the most heavily censored networks in the world. What the government expects to achieve by quashing chat groups and harassing at those that have moved is a mystery. What has been confirmed though is that China still remains extremely anti-crypto.

Security researchers have discovered more malicious mining software that exploits Google’s Android operating system. Attackers are constantly seeking out vulnerabilities in popular platforms and none gets bigger than Android which powers millions of machines. This new thread has managed to infect thousands of systems within days according to researchers.

It has been reported that cyber-security researcher Wang Hui from 360Netlab said in a blog post at the weekend that a strain of cryptocurrency mining malware called ADB.Miner has begun spreading rapidly.

More Monero Malware

The incursion has already infiltrated over 7,000 devices in China. There were hacked into a network that harnessed the processing power of the connected devices to mine Monero. XMR is usually the currency of choice as it has anonymous and encrypted blockchain which cannot be traced back to the cyber criminals. The malware connects to two different mining pools which both share the same wallet address.

Previous botnets have been more destructive but it is expected that this one will continue to spread and others like it will be launched. According to 360Netlab the malware spreads over port 5555 which can be opened by an ADB debug tool used to conduct diagnostic tests.

Once infected the malware will scan for open ports on similar Android powered devices such as smartphones, tablets, and smart TV boxes. If the port is already open the worm can spread. The security researchers said;

“Overall, we believe malicious code based on the Android system ADB debug interface is now actively spreading in worms and infected over 5,000 devices in 24 hours. Affected devices are actively trying to deliver malicious code.”

Mirai onboard

Without releasing too many technical details the research team said that the scanning module included the Mirai botnet code which took control of millions of IoT devices last year to launch DDoS attacks. It seems that cyber-crime is moving away from ransomware and into malicious mining is it can be more lucrative.

This latest incursion will not be the last. Last year mining malware exploited Facebook Messenger and just last month malware was discovered in Google’s YouTube advertising. The technology monopolies of today need to focus a little more on their security and a little less on their bottom line if they want to retain customer confidence in their systems.

According to data consultant Alex de Vries and his Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, the process of transacting with and mining the digital currency translates to huge real-world energy consumption. So much so that verifying Bitcoin transactions tops 159 individual countries in energy consumption. In total, the whole Bitcoin network spends almost $2 billion per year mining.

As a refresher: Every Bitcoin transaction must be verified by a key group of users called miners. Using specialized computers paired with high-performance graphics cards, miners “assemble” the transaction records into groups known as blocks. They then compete to get their block added to the chain of record. About every ten minutes, one block is randomly selected, winning that miner (or group of miners) a prize of new Bitcoin.

As for the numbers: The creation of a single bitcoin requires about 50,000 kilowatt-hours. In the U.S., the average residential rate is about 10 to 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. In China, electric costs are slightly less expensive, being about 4 to 5 cents per kilowatt-hour. It’s something that many users are removed from: The electric bills end up with the miners, so users never see how much energy the system consumes.

That said, on one hand, the high carbon cost is partly intentional. “The energy costs are part of the reason why Bitcoin is so secure,” de Vries explains, “because if [someone] wants to attack the system, they would need the machines and would have to spend a huge amount of money to pay for all the electricity to simply take control of the network.” So, in essence, it’s really part of what makes Bitcoin secure.

It’s worth noting, too, that this huge energy consumption will cease to be a problem when all Bitcoin have been mined. The coin started with a block reward of 50 bitcoins — so everyone who participated in the creation a new block for the blockchain received 50 Bitcoin (split between them). But now, that reward is just 12.5 Bitcoin per block, already halving twice — as it does and will continue to do every four years. Down the line, then, in a few decades, all Bitcoin will be mined and there will be no more block reward.

This might lower overall energy costs, simply because as the reward goes down, so will the amount miners spend on electricity. But unfortunately, that’s not only a long time away, it’s only part of the picture. Transaction fees also contribute to consumption. “The whole idea is that those transaction fees, which are also claimed by the miners, will end up supporting the Bitcoin infrastructure,” de Vries explains.

As for the future of cryptocurrencies, de Vries doesn’t see them replacing government-issued currencies. But he does think there will “always be a niche for Bitcoin.” Just a niche? Perhaps de Vries feels this way because he is content the way things are: “I have no problem with my bank. I trust my bank. I’m fine with them doing my financial transactions, so I don’t really need Bitcoin.”

South Korea’s finance minister Kim Dong-Yeon has said that the government has no plans to shut down or ban cryptocurrency trading. The news is a welcome respite for investors worried that authorities might go as far as China in out-right banning cryptocurrency trading and investment platforms.

“There is no intention to ban or suppress cryptocurrency,” Dong-yeon said in a statement reported by Reuters. He added that the government’s immediate task is to regulate exchanges.

The comment from the Finance Minister comes as traders and investors around the world have been spooked by conflicting comments from government officials in South Korea — a major global hub for cryptocurrencies — about whether the country was planning to ban exchanges, something originally proposed by the country’s Justice Ministry. Over the past few weeks, government officials from several different ministries have come out in both support of and opposition to the potential ban.

On the same day of proposing it, in fact, the Justice Ministry was forced to soften its stance (that of an out-right ban), which many argue was unlikely to succeed from the beginning. It found little support from other governmental ministries, including the Ministry of Finance which refused to endorse a ban on cryptocurrency trading and exchanges.

In a public radio interview this month, Korea’s Fair Trade Commission chairman Kim Sang-joo also disputed the very notion of a ban, effectively stating it would be illegal for the government to enforce such measures. “[Shutting down cryptocurrency exchanges] is not realistically possible. Based on electronic commerce law, the government does not have the authority to close down cryptocurrency trading platforms.”

All these conflicting statements provoked an industry backlash, which led to the Executive Office of the President weighing in on the matter in attempts to cool fears of a blanket ban. The industry was right to have worries, as Korea notably followed China’s example in introducing bans initial coin offerings (ICOs) earlier this year.

South Korea has been at the forefront of pushing for broad regulatory oversight of cryptocurrency trading, as many locals, from students to housewives, jumped into a frenzied market despite warnings from some policymakers around the world of a cryptocurrency bubble.

One of China’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges has been bought by an unnamed Hong Kong investment group. According to a statement by BTCC today, the buyout aims to help develop an international facing platform, expanding the company’s remit outside of China.

Senior Vice President of BTCC Mining Pool, Denver Zhao, said:

 “We now have the resources to more fully realise our vision of safeguarding and stabilising digital currencies’ blockchains… Going forward, we’ll provide better, fairer, more transparent, and more comprehensive mining services to our customers worldwide.”

Such a change in company direction has likely been driven by the recent crackdown on cryptocurrency products and services within China. The nation, which was once one of the largest markets for digital currencies, has moved to a more hostile stance against the space in recent months. Their offensive has largely focused on initial coin offerings, as well as mining and exchanges.

With such an unsure environment, it’s no surprise that BTCC have made the decision to move operations elsewhere. The founder of the company, Bobby Lee, stated:

“Today’s acquisition is an incredible milestone for BTCC that validates all of our hard work over the past few years. I’m very excited about the resources this gives BTCC to move faster and aggressively grow our businesses in 2018 and beyond”.

Founded in 2011, BTCC was China’s first Bitcoin exchange. However, according to today’s statement, they will now focus their three major products on a more global market. These are their mining pool, BTCC Pool, their cryptocurrency wallet, Mobi, and their USD Exchange. Bloomberg report that it will be Denver Zhao, Mark Ma, and Aaron Choi who will lead each respectively.

The statement from BTCC included an optimistic outlook for the company’s future by Bobby Lee:

“I’m excited about this new chapter in BTCC’s future — the acquisition poises us for success in 2018 and beyond,” Lee said. “The resources we’ll gain and the new set of experienced and talented executives we’ll have joining the BTCC team give us impetus to lead every segment of the digital currency ecosystem, including the pool, payments, and exchange businesses.”

At present, scant details are known about the acquisition. Despite his appearance at Blockchain London on January 23, Bobby Lee and company are yet to disclose either the figure or the name of the company who have decided to take on BTCC.



China is a country where cryptocurrencies are frowned upon. This is for many different reasons, including disturbing the financial ecosystem. However, there is another big threat most people seem to be unaware of right now. A lot of new Bitcoin-related scams have appeared out of nowhere. These are the findings of Kroll, a global risk management firm. At this rate, it is highly unlikely China will ever soften its stance on cryptocurrency.

The findings by global risk management firm Kroll paint a worrisome future. China is home to a lot of Bitcoin-related scams as of right now. Given the government’s negative stance toward cryptocurrencies, that is a bit of a surprise. At the same time, this is also part of a growing fraud threat in the country. More specifically, close to 90% of all Chinese companies faced some form of cybercrime in 2017. This is an extremely worrisome trend, and it’s unsurprising Bitcoin plays a role in all of this.

China Falls Victim to More Cybercrime

More specifically, the country is in the process of adopting new technologies. With every new generation of innovation come additional security risks. Innovations make the consumers’ daily lives more convenient, but they also bear risks. As such, we see more and more cyber fraud and scams in the Chinese market right now. Cybercriminals are targeting people who have an interest in Bitcoin for quite some time now. This report seems to indicate that trend will only continue for quite some time to come.

For the time being, it is a bit unclear how people in China are defrauded for Bitcoin exactly. The most common cyber threats include viruses, phishing, and data breaches. Data deletion, wire transfer fraud, and ransomware are all in the lower segments as of right now. This seems to indicate the role of Bitcoin is a lot less prominent than most people might expect at this time.  Since the report is not too clear on this front, Bitcoin’s role remains unclear for the time being.

One thing is certain: Chinese companies need to step up their game. A lot of companies have increased fraud awareness as we speak. However, there is still room for future improvements. Especially when it comes to conducting proper background checks, things can certainly improve a lot. Hiring the right people to take care of these problems is the top priority right now. Most of the cyber threats can be avoided with common sense as well.

All cryptocurrencies have taken a battering during the Asian trading session today as a huge selloff has commenced. Fears have escalated over further clampdowns in China and possible restriction in South Korea. The markets have fallen over 36% in the past week and total market capacity at the time of writing was just over $500 billion, down from $830 billion two weeks ago.

Reports have emerged of another crackdown in China, this time on domestic crypto traders and their methods of accessing digital currencies. In its usual authoritarian style the government plans to block access to local and overseas crypto exchanges and prevent peer-to-peer trading. It is not the first time China has clamped down on crypto with a ban on exchanges in September and recent restrictions on power usage for mining operations. Mining factories and crypto exchanges have left China for friendlier countries such as Hong Kong and Japan.

Bitcoin has declined from $14,500 this time last week to just over $11,000 today representing a drop of almost 25% in seven days. Looking at the month it has fallen over 45% and many chart analysts predict it could go as low as $8,000 before showing any sign of recovery.

Ethereum has also fallen from its all-time high of $1,425 last week to just over $1,000 today. A more optimistic view can be seen on the three month chart where ETH is still around 200% up on its trading price of $300 back in early November. Ethereum has performed exceptionally well as many altcoin trades can now be made in ETH instead of BTC which is slower and costlier.

The bloodbath has continued with all other coins and Ripple has taken the biggest beating with a 70% drop from its record peak of $3.80 to $1.20 today. Litecoin has also continued its downward slide from a high of $375 this time last month. The coin has dropped over 50% in a month to $185 where it trades today. Bitcoin Cash which has been holding a $2,500 level for a couple of weeks has dropped down below $2,000 again and even NEO which had a record high of $195 a couple days ago has lost a lot of its gains and fallen back to $135.

Markets have recovered from Chinese clampdowns before and they are all still way up on prices three months ago. Panic selling and FUD seems to be fueling this current slide so those hodling may be inclined to buy the dips and stock up on their favourite cryptos.

According to their co-chairman Kong Jianping, a company making Bitcoin mining hardware has posted sales of over 1.2 billion yuan (US$ 185.2 million) during 2017. This translates in a profit of a staggering 300 million yuan (US$ 46.6 million). Kong told Chinese media outlet Yicai Global that he anticipates Canaan Creative’s profits to reach 5 billion yuan. This would mean they’d made sales of 10 billion yaun. However, the mining hardware chairperson did not specify a time frame for such a prediction.

Ejinsight, a domestic technology resource claims that Canaan Creative plan to list its shares on the National Equities Exchange and Quotations stock exchange – an over-the-counter way of selling shares in public limited companies in China.

Canaan Creative are one of the planet’s largest manufacturers of ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) chips. Such components have been tailored towards solving the complex algorithms required to “unlock” the remaining Bitcoin of the total supply of 21 million. The company filed their interest in listing shares on the NEEQ in August of last year.

Canaan Creative itself was founded in 2013 and according to Ejinsight, units they’d sold up until last April accounted for 22% of the global mining hash power on the Bitcoin network. Sales have been steadily increasing inline with surging interest in cryptocurrency since they began selling hardware chips designed for the purpose of mining. The local technology news source claims that of the 400 unique customers Canaan Creative have served, 97% of them are based in China.

However, with news of Chinese hostility towards the cryptocurrency mining industry and so many of Canaan Creative’s clients being located within the country, it seems hard to believe the projections of Kong. Recently the Chinese government have made efforts to squeeze Bitcoin miners out of their nation. Whilst the Beijing government has not expressly banned the practice, certain clampdowns on allowed electricity and land usage, as well as environmental regulation and tax collection, targets those engaging in the highly profitable and hugely power consuming activity.

According to the Financial Times, as part of their agenda against Bitcoin miners, a multi-agency task force has been set up to aid companies from exiting the mining industry.

The clampdown on mining is not the only hostility the Chinese government have shown towards the cryptocurrency space. During September of last year, legislators there banned the innovative fund raising practice known as initial coin offerings (ICOs). On top of this, several key exchanges also ceasing doing business in the second half of 2017. Evidently, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are not currently seen as being inline with Chinese economic interests.

Most of this week’s crypto news has been dominated by Litecoin and Ethereum. Both have broken all-time highs and both have taken some of the limelight from big daddy Bitcoin which has ranged between $16,000 and $17,400 over the past few days. LTC has corrected from a previous top of $338 on December 12 and Ethereum is still hitting new tops surpassing $750 a few hours ago.

Other altcoins have been up and down but one that has made big positive moves in the past day or two is NEO. Often referred to as the Chinese Ethereum, NEO has been trading pretty flat over the past few months. Its last flurry of activity was in mid-August when it was re-branded from its previous incarnation, Antshares. It reached a high of $48 and has been falling back ever since, ranging in a channel between around $25 and $35 for most of September and October.

The Chinese dragon awoke yesterday and broke through key resistance areas around $40. From there on it headed up past $50 for the first time before pulling back slightly. NEO has jumped around 48% in just over 48 hours.

NEO is traded mostly on Bittrex which has almost 30% of the total; second exchange is Binance with just over 25% followed by Bitfinex at 21%. The total volume in the past 24 hours according to was $433 million and market cap currently stands at $3.2 billion.

News of a partnership between NEO, Regtech leader Coinfirm, and the specialist venture platform QRC may have initiated the push. The trio will be working together to nurture a compliant blockchain ‘smart economy’ with a particular focus in Asia. This week’s collaboration was initiated when Coinfirm CEO and Co-Founder Pawel Kuskowski and QRC CEO Adam Vaziri joined the NEO team at NEO’s blockchain competition kickoff event in Tokyo according to PR Newswire.

NEO, Coinfirm and QRC have teamed up to address the enduring insufficiency in blockchain regulation which encumbers every country with a crypto currency exchange market. Tackling this obstruction could open up the entire crypto ecosystem to the mass market, and support the trend for ICO’s which have already been banned in China and South Korea.

Similar to Ethereum, NEO is both a crypto currency and a blockchain platform for decentralized apps. Western speculators have been drawn to its Chinese origin for the prospect of huge growth. Any news that the Chinese government will ease restrictions and officially approve the NEO platform is eagerly awaited. Until then NEO ‘hodlers’ can enjoy a rare spurt up the charts.