Blockchain Asia | #16

$50B moves out of China via crypto|Tether research report|DBS report on crypto/digital currencies|Binance behind decentralized online travel agency

August 21, 2020

Welcome back. In this issue’s Blockchain Asia:

  1. $50B worth of crypto moving out of China

  2. Research on Tether in China

  3. DBS report on crypto/digital currencies

  4. Binance building decentralized online travel agency

$50B moved out of China through cryptocurrency

According to an excerpt from a report by Chainalysis, in the past 12 months, $50B worth of cryptocurrency has been moved from China-based addresses to overseas addresses, mostly trading related.

China cracked down on crypto trading in 2017, driving Chinese traders to overseas exchanges. In addition, the movement is also related to China’s dominance in bitcoin mining. Chinese miners send their bitcoins to overseas exchanges for trading and turn to companies out of China to manage their wealth.

The report believes that at least some of the activity indicates capital flight. One thing is for sure that cryptocurrency gives Chinese citizens the freedom to move capital globally which fiat money does not provide. In China, the government enforces capital controls; each citizen can only exchange $50,000 each year.

Other telling findings include the popularity of Tether among East Asian users. I agree with the report’s reasoning:

All of this begs the question: Why Tether over any other U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoin? Wan indicated to us that many popular cryptocurrency influencers in China have historically been big proponents of Bitfinex, whose parent company also owns Tether. Many of those influencers became wholesalers of Tether, selling the stablecoin to a large network of OTC traders around China. Those OTC traders in turn sell Tether to the masses. “It’s very decentralized,” says Wan. “There’s usually one go-to OTC broker in each town, and they’ve played a big role in facilitating Tether’s everyday use over the last year.”

For the excerpt of the report, here is the link.

Independent research report on Tether

I received a research report in Chinese from v.systems, a public chain project led by Sunny King. The report highlights 6 to 7 popular use cases of Tether in China. Link to the English summary of the report.

Singapore’s DBS Bank releases research report on digital and cryptocurrency

In DBS Bank’s report released in August, titled Digital Currencies: Public and Private, Present and Future, the following information caught my attention:

  • “Bitcoin still dominates the market by far, worth over six times as much as Ethereum, the next largest cryptocurrency. As of mid-June this year, the market capitalization of Bitcoin was about USD170B. The total number of Bitcoin circulating on the network was around 18M. Meanwhile, note that the trading volume of Bitcoin has surged since 2017, rising from an average of USD18M per day in 2013-16 to USD507M in 2017-19 (vetted exchanges).”

  • Five of the world’s top ten crypto spot exchanges are headquartered in Asia. Three of the top ten crypto derivative exchanges are headquartered in Singapore.

  • Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Bank of Thailand joined efforts on a project dubbed “Project Inthanon-LionRock” to study CBDC’s application in cross-border payments.

Link to the download of the full report.

Binance building decentralized online travel agency

One of the blockchain projects of Binance, the largest crypto exchange, is Binance Chain, a blockchain software system developed jointly by Binance and its global community.

The crypto-friendly travel agency Travala.com is joining forces with Binance Chain to develop decentralized functionalities such as reviews, referrals and bookings. Travala, together with Binance, is challenging traditional travel agencies and helping to take crypto mainstream.

Travala is the result of a merger between Travala.com, a crypto-friendly hotel booking company with TravelbyBit.com, a crypto-friendly flight booking company in May this year, both backed by Binance. The merged platform expects revenue to exceed $10 million in the next year in spite of COVID-19.

An example of the cryptocurrencies Travala accepts:

Link to more details.

Lastly, I want to congratulate BlockFi for raising $50 million in its Series C round. SCB 10X, the corporate venture arm of Siam Commercial Bank, the first bank in Thailand, joined this round, indicative of BlockFi’s continuous expansion efforts in Asia and other regions. Earlier this year BlockFi established offices in Singapore and London. Link.

~ Coco


Blockchain Asia covers exclusively blockchain and crypto & digital asset developments in Asia, including regulations, investments, new deals and company highlights. Content is selective and curated.

It is owned by Kee Global Advisors. For previous posts, please visit here. For any inquiry, please email insight@keeglobaladvisors.com