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Actions speak: China’s crypto ban may reveal digital yuan CBDC goals

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Chinese regulatory authorities gave yet another shock to the cryptoverse by imposing a ban on all cryptocurrency transactions on Sept. 24. This measure came just as the market was beginning to recover from the government’s June prohibition on cryptocurrency mining activities.

The fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) that resulted from the ban caused Bitcoin (BTC) to crash nearly 9% within five hours, from exchanging hands in the $45,000 range to bottoming out at $41,142. Soon after, Alibaba announced that it would be banning any sale of cryptocurrency rigs and related accessories starting Oct. 8.

However, the flagship cryptocurrency has since recovered to trading above pre-ban levels of around $45,000. At the time of writing, BTC is exchanging hands in the $47,300 range. This recovery could be on the back of two favorable developments: the chairman of the United States Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, mentioning that there is no intent to ban Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies in the United States and Iran’s lifting of its temporary Bitcoin mining ban.

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This is not the first time that BTC or the market as a whole has recovered from FUD caused by China. As per an analysis by Cointelegraph, the cryptoverse has bounced back from China’s crypto bashing over a dozen times. This instance marks another of these inevitable recoveries.

In addition to the falling price of tokens as an immediate consequence of the ban, the long-term impact on crypto businesses and investors in China is enormous. Huobi Global, the most widely used cryptocurrency exchange in China by trading volumes, immediately stopped crypto transactions for its Chinese investors per the regulator’s guidelines. 

Additionally, the exchange outlined a plan for their users in China that ensures users can safeguard their assets before their accounts are permanently closed on Dec. 3. Du Jun, a co-founder of Huobi Global cryptocurrency exchange told Cointelegraph on the matter:

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“Customers will be able to transfer their assets to other exchanges or wallets over the next few months. If customers don’t or cannot see our latest announcements, we will provide other ways to protect customer assets and wait for them to be withdrawn.”

In contrast to the previous instances in which China has thrown shade on cryptocurrencies or announced “bans,” this time there seems to be no gray area or loopholes that allow crypto businesses to continue to offer their services in the country.

China’s motive

As is the case with many countries, China’s hostility toward crypto seems to juxtapose the promotion of its own central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital yuan.

Ariel Zetlin-Jones, associate professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, told Cointelegraph:

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“China clearly wants to promote the digital Yuan. Removing its competitors by banning crypto activities is one way to do this so it seems reasonable to consider this motivation as one rationale for their policies.”

Kristin Boggiano, co-founder and president of cryptocurrency exchange CrossTower, told Cointelegraph: “China seems to be choosing control over innovation, and its actions indicate that crypto could be a threat to the digital yuan as much of crypto is permissionless.”

The government has been pushing its CBDC initiative throughout various provinces to the extent that the Xiaong’an New Area enabled the country’s first blockchain-based salary transaction in June this year. 

This shows immense belief and commitment to the digital currency initiative, as compared to other major economies where the point of discussion is still around the safety and reliability of digital currencies. Thus, this move could definitely be an effort to curb the proliferation of “private” cryptocurrencies and push users in China toward the digital yuan.

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China’s loss, America’s gain?

Huobi’s Jun further mentioned that, since the exchange has been expanding its footprint across various countries in recent years, business outside of China already accounts for nearly 70% of the firm’s entire portfolio.

In July, after a series of crackdowns on Bitcoin mining in China, the Bitcoin mining difficulty was impacted immediately, dropping 30%. Zetlin-Jones said similar outcomes are now emerging on the Ethereum blockchain where large Ether (ETH) mining pools in China are now going offline. Zetlin-Jones continued:

“The reduction in mining difficulty reduces the entry costs for mining and creates opportunity for new entrants to mining. While I believe this could be beneficial in driving decentralization in mining, it is unclear this is an opportunity for the U.S. in particular.”

Charles Allen, CEO of BTCS Inc. — a publicly-traded company offering blockchain infrastructure — remains optimistic. He told Cointelegraph: “Blockchain technologies have the power to change the world in the same way the internet did. Simply put, they are the future of finance and beyond.”

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Allen said that if China doesn’t want a hand in development and innovation, it is 100% an opportunity for the United States in the long run. 

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey is of a similar opinion, writing on Twitter, “China’s authoritarian crackdown on crypto, including #Bitcoin, is a big opportunity for the U.S. It’s also a reminder of our huge structural advantage over China.”

The opportunity for the United States and other major economies here is huge, as various sectors of crypto businesses, like exchanges and mining, need to relocate out to China and thus, would contribute to the surrounding economy with employment opportunities and a consistent capital flow.

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Even though there is absolute clarity about the law for crypto business and services, individual investors and cryptocurrency holders are still uncertain about whether the possession of cryptocurrencies is illegal. Boggiano claimed that, even though China-based investors cannot transact in cryptocurrencies over exchanges, the over-the-counter access to the crypto market remains relatively unaffected.

Binance

Crypto Newcomer Explodes After Abrupt Altcoin Listing on Binance

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A small-cap altcoin is shooting into the stratosphere after earning support from the global crypto exchange Binance.

The governance token Tranchess (CHESS) officially began trading today.

News of the coin’s listing triggered a 185% rise in the price of the asset – from $2.77 to $7.91. Its value has since settled to $5.09 at time of publishing.

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CHESS is listed in Binance’s Innovation Zone, a dedicated trading area where users can buy and sell newer tokens that are likely to have higher volatility and pose a higher risk to traders.

According to Binance Research,

“Tranchess is a yield-enhancing asset tracker with varied risk-return solutions on Binance Smart Chain (BSC), which consists of 3 tranche tokens (QUEEN, BISHOP, and ROOK) and its governance token CHESS. 

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The platform offers various features including a DEX (Tranchess Swap), money markets (Primary Market), staking, and network governance.”

Tranchess recently raised $1.5 million from Binance Labs, Three Arrows Capital, and other crypto venture firms.

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Binance

Binance proposes a real-time token burning mechanism to boost BNB value

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  • Binance has proposed the BEP-95 aimed to burn a percentage of transaction fees as a deflationary measure.
  • BEP-95 will occur alongside the quarterly token burn and well after the 100 million token supply is achieved.

Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is taking further steps to incorporate an additional deflationary mechanism to increase token valuation. As announced today, Binance (BNB) is introducing a new Binance Evolution Protocol (BEP) known as BEP-95. The BEP stands out from the network’s occasional token burns since it introduced a real-time burning mechanism.

According to Binance, a fixed portion of gas fees collected by validators in each block will be sent to the burn address. The ratio initially set at 10 percent, is adjustable according to changes proposed by the Binance community. BSC validators get to vote on community proposals, where voting power is based on staked BNB.

For a proposal to be reviewed by the validators, it has to receive a minimum deposit of 2,000 BNB (mainnet). All BNB is returned to holders after the finalization of the voting process. A proposal that wins is that which gathers 50 percent of the total voting power on the mainnet. Binance notes that voted-upon parameters are implemented immediately.

Details of Binance BEP-95 token burning mechanism

BEP-95 became relevant as it speeds up the BNB token burn, and makes the network increasingly decentralized. The BNB supply cap is about 168 million tokens and Binance intends to burn until 100 million tokens remain in circulation. This will take about 5-8 years to complete, according to Binance. The network’s most recent quarterly burn wiped out over 1 million tokens, worth about $639 million, from circulation.

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However, the latest update from its blog now says the BEP-95 burn “will continue functioning” even after the above target is attained. With the burn, Binance expects the intrinsic value of the BNB token to increase in tandem with demand. The network notes that validators and delegators may receive fewer tokens from staking, but the “fiat-denominated value of their rewards may increase.” Moreover, BNB has multiple use cases that benefit all holders of the token.

Currently, BEP-95 is in the draft stage and the network is yet to give a specific date for its implementation.

Several blockchains use the crypto-burning mechanism to create token scarcity and a subsequent increase in token value. Ethereum, for instance, uses the EIP-1559 for this purpose. 

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BNB price action

BNB, the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was trading at $494 at press time, according to our data. The token has gained 0.8 percent in the day, and 4.8 percent week-over-week. Similar to other digital assets, BNB has rallied fueled by the Bitcoin-led gains. Crypto investor and YouTuber Lark Davis expects “good things” for the BNB price following its launch of a $1B growth fund.

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Crypto Exchange

Google warns crypto investors of Youtube scams amidst high hacking

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  • Google warn crypto investors to be weary of Youtbe scams.
  • Google says hackers impersonate crypto influencers to run scams on YouTube.
  • YouTube, a hotbed for crypto scams.

Google’s Threat Analysis Group has warned crypto investors to beware of cryptocurrency scams on Youtube as phishing and impersonation on the video-sharing platform surges.

The Google group noted that a group of hackers is taking over Youtube, rebranding popular Youtube channels of well-known crypto or tech companies. “The channel name, profile picture, and content are all replaced with cryptocurrency branding to impersonate large tech or cryptocurrency exchange firms,” the group said, adding that hackers would live stream videos promising crypto giveaways in exchange for “initial contributions.”

According to the Google group, if these hackers don’t rebrand, they sell pages to the highest bidder depending on how many subscribers the channel has. They note that fake Youtube pages sell anywhere from $3 to $4,000.

The Google group notes that a group of hackers recruited in a Russian-speaking forum are actors behind the campaign.

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Crypto investors should be warned as YouTube remains a hotbed for crypto scams

The video-sharing platform so many times has been used as a tool to dupe unsuspecting crypto investors. In December, American crypto exchange Gemini exposed two fake YouTube channels that were pretending to be from the exchange.

“These scam accounts are not our company. We have reported these accounts to YouTube,” Gemini tweeted.

Funny enough, it was not the first time Gemini was being impersonated on Youtube.

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Crypto scams have been well perpetrated on the platform that the video giants ban crypto content on its platform. Authorities in the UK also warned young crypto investors with campaigns on Youtube and TikTok against being victims of crypto scams.

The cycle of crypto scams across all platforms is one that may never end. As much as crypto exists, crypto scams would remain a thing. The rise in crypto scams recently has been attributed to the surge in price and adoption of cryptos globally. It is safe to say that with crypto prices going up and more people, corporate organizations adopting cryptos, more scammers will be threatening the burgeoning space.

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