Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the industry’s most important developments.
Bitcoin’s day of glory on Chinese TikTok
On Apr. 10, Douyin, the version of Tiktok exclusive to Chinese users, began publishing price quotes related to Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), and Ripple (XRP). The move sparked rampant speculation among the Chinese media and users alike related to a potential change of policy by the country’s central government on cryptocurrency regulation.
Unlike its Western counterpart, content on Douyin is heavily monitored and sometimes censored by Chinese authorities. Since Sept. 2022, Douyin has been cracking down on content relating to cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and Metaverse.
Hence, many individuals were genuinely surprised to see cryptocurrencies discoverable on the government-curated platform. For around 24-hours, any of Douyin’s estimated 730 million mainland Chinese users could freely view crypto price quotes on the app. However, dreams of a relaxation in the country’s strict crypto laws were crushed shortly thereafter. On Apr. 11, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies price quotes were removed from Douyin, with a message stating:
“Based on relevant national regulations, unofficial digital currencies do not possess the same legal standing as fiat currencies. Please invest cautiously.”
Since 2021, China has banned all forms of crypto exchanges, crypto-fiat transactions brokered by financial institutions, and initial coin offerings. That said, the country stopped short of banning the ownership of cryptocurrencies altogether and the Chinese controlled territory of Hong Kong has unveiled plans to become a crypto hub.
Bruce Lee lives again via NFTs
On Apr. 12, the Bruce Lee Foundation announced it would partner with NFT video platform Shibuya to launch a collection of genesis NFTs featuring the late legendary martial arts actor, who died in 1973 at the age of 32 under mysterious circumstances. The House of Lee collection is one sale on Manifold from Apr. 12 to Apr. 14 and is minted on the Ethereum network, with digital image storage on Arweave.
There is no limit to the number of NFTs minted during the sale. At the time of publication, over 19,592 House of Lee digital collectibles have been minted with a current floor price of around 0.008 Ether. The Bruce Lee NFT was drawn by artists Maciej Kuciara and Emily Yang, with its design inspired by Shannon Lee, daughter of Bruce Lee and president of the Bruce Lee Estate. An Ethereum Name Service address has also been registered for the collection at bruceleeofficial.eth.