Digestible news about the latest developments across the fields of NFT, blockchain and metaverse in China, delivered to you every Thursday.
This week: Blibili tests ‘UPowerchain’ to develop the metaverse, Huobi picks Singapore as its Asia base, Binance CEO is now the richest Chinese person in the world, and more.
Bilibili Tests ‘UPowerchain’ to Develop Metaverse
Bilibili, one of China’s biggest video streaming sites known for its user-generated content on anime, music and gaming, is testing its blockchain ‘UPowerchain’ to help companies to develop the metaverse concept.
- UPowerchain’s current focus is on content and copyright protection to provide ownership certificates to creators of digitized works.
- Rui Chen, CEO of Bilibili, said on an earnings call in November following the release of the company’s third-quarter report that Bilibili has a large base of content creators, making it an ideal platform to develop the metaverse concept.
- Bilibili has over 267 million monthly active users (MAUs), up 35% year-on-year, according to its third-quarter report. “Among these MAUs, a vast majority of them are the most creative and energetic young Chinese. So that’s why I do think Bilibili is probably one of the best companies to practice or to get into the metaverse business,” Chen added. (Forkast)
Crypto Exchange Huobi Picks Singapore as Asia Base
Huobi Group, the operator of China’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has picked Singapore as its regional headquarters, while also choosing to set up another location for Europe, said co-founder Du Jun.
- Singapore has become the company’s new base after it recently shifted focus outside its original home of Beijing. Du has been based in the city-state since he returned to Huobi at the end of last year. The firm is planning to set up another regional headquarters in either France or the U.K. in 2023.
- While Huobi has had employees running an exchange business out of Singapore for years, the setup of an official headquarters in the city-state signals a further breakaway from its home country, which in September banned all crypto transactions and services on the mainland. Huobi, founded in China in 2013, has said it will offload all China users by the end of this year.(Bloomberg)
South China’s Hainan Province Hikes Electricity Fees on Those Who Have Mined Crypto
The Hainan Provincial Development and Reform Commission announced in a notice issued on Friday that it has officially classified crypto mining as an “outdated industry.” Notably, Hainan authorities are increasing electricity prices for those who have carried out crypto mining activities.
- Last month, Wei Meng, an NDRC spokesperson, said at a press briefing that as part of the next step of the clampdown, authorities would focus on raiding industrial clustered mining activities and those carried out by state-owned entities. If an entity is found to have participated in mining crypto, it could be subject to punitive electricity charges for future operations.
- Meanwhile in Russia and Ukraine, regulators are tightening their grips on the sector. An underground mining farm in Moscow that consumed 500,000 rubles ($6,775) each day was shut down by Russian authorities.
- Last week, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren – who has been highly critical of the crypto industry in the past, calling it opaque, high risk and in need of regulatory oversight – sent a letter to Jeffrey Kirt, CEO of Bitcoin miner Greenidge Generation Holdings, to seek information on the company’s operations in upstate New York. (Forkast)
Binance CEO is Now the Richest Chinese Person in the World
Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the Chief Executive Officer of Binance, is the world’s richest ethnic Chinese person, with a net worth of around $90 billion.
- Binance is the world’s most popular crypto exchange platform with an estimated valuation of $300 billion. The company started only four years ago, and is currently staffed with 3,000 employees worldwide. Binance’s daily trading volume is at a peak of $76 billion, greater than the total trading volume of its four largest rivals.
- A month ago, CZ disclosed his portfolio, acknowledging the possession of a significant amount of Bitcoin along with Binance’s indigenous token, Binance coin (BNB). According to the Associated Press, CZ’s main source of wealth originates from his crypto portfolio along with his stakes in crypto exchanges. (Cointelegraph)
Mainframe Industries Raises $22.9M for Cloud-Native Games
Mainframe Industries has raised $22.9 million to develop cloud-native games in a financing round led by Andreessen Horowitz and a new set of investors.
- The Finnish-Icelandic gaming studio founded by former CCP, Remedy Entertainment and Next Games veterans is developing an unannounced cloud-native massively multiplayer online game (MMO) that is designed and built at Mainframe’s Helsinki and Reykjavik studios. Andreessen Horowitiz (a16z) previously led an $8.3 million round for Mainframe in 2020.
- In cloud gaming, a game is computed in internet-connected datacenters, and then the results are sent via video to a user’s screen. This enables high-end games to tap the vast computing and memory systems in the cloud and then display the results on a variety of devices, including laptops, desktop gaming PCs, mobile phones and TVs.
- A cloud-native game gives the player access to faster and greater amounts of storage, resulting in a more vibrant and detailed world, according to CEO Thor Gunnarsson. (VentureBeat, Sifted)
‘Matrix Resurrections’ NFT Website Crashes After Overwhelming Demand
NFT marketplace Nifty’s said it re-opened the purchase queue for the “Matrix” NFTs after completing an audit of its platform. About an hour later, the company said it had officially sold out.
- Hundreds of thousands of fans lined up last Tuesday to buy digital collectibles related to Warner Bros.’ upcoming “The Matrix Resurrections” movie at $50 a piece, and quickly swamped the systems of Nifty’s, the NFT marketplace hosting the sale.
- Within an hour of opening the “Matrix” NFT site, Nifty’s halted the purchase queue briefly before restarting it – then paused it again. As of noon last Wednesday, there were more than 330,000 users waiting in the queue on Nifty’s website for the chance to buy the “Matrix” NFTs.
- Earlier this month, Warner Bros. announced that it would mint 100,000 unique NFTs of “Matrix”-inspired avatars – a natural tie-in to the movie franchise’s virtual-world conceit and designed to promote the December 22 release of “Matrix Resurrections.” (Nifty, Blockbeats, Variety)
…is the number of neurons in the human brain, according to a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in 2012.
- A single neuron can contain thousands of synapses, and a synapse can store around five bits of data. That gives us around 250 trillion synapses in the brain, and 150 terabytes of brain capacity.
- To put that into perspective, a typical DVD can store up to 4.7 gigabytes (a byte is eight bits) of information, and our brain capacity is roughly that of 30,000 DVDs.
- That said, the brain’s exact storage capacity for memories is hard to calculate, as our brains function differently from computers, and we do not know how to measure the size of a memory.
That’s it for this week’s newsletter. Thanks for reading! As always, I welcome any feedback on how to make this newsletter better. My email is email@example.com. See you again next week!