This week in tech: Regulation takes center stage as China delves further into blockchain

It’s been a week where regulators have stepped up their game, cracking down on blockchain and crypto startups. However, it’s not been all negative, with some regulators launching initiatives that seek to drive adoption of blockchain higher. China was in the limelight again, this time for blockchain initiatives in identity management and a digital currency. In the crypto mining sector, it was a week of comebacks and infighting.

The week has seen a number of fraudulent blockchain startups brought to book. In New York, a blockchain startup founder was charged with wire fraud and he faces 20 years in prison for his crime. The accused, Asa Saint Clair founded a startup which he claimed was affiliated with the United Nations, but ended up defrauding his investors.

In China, a porcelain company is under investigations by the market regulator for possible stock price manipulation. The company announced blockchain projects last year and after China’s president hailed blockchain technology, its stock soared for five straight days. Still in China, Xi Jinping’s embracing of blockchain technology has led to the reversal of the crypto mining ban.

For one Canadian crypto exchange, it wasn’t a good week after regulators seized control and shut it down. The regulator in British Columbia shut down Einstein Exchange after its users raised concerns about its operations.

The U.S. is also moving in the right direction after the country’s Federal Reserve advertised a post for a retail manager who’ll also lead in blockchain research. This came after Congressman David Warren called on the country to regulate blockchain technology or risk losing its superiority to European countries.

In more good news, Finland’s market regulator revealed that it had given the green light to five crypto firms to offer their services in the country. 

It was also a week of blockchain adoption, with Turkey set to end its CBDC testing by 2020. The country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan instructed his government to make the digital currency a reality by next year.

And it’s not just Turkey that’s in high gear on its CBDC project. Hong Kong has also been partnering with Thailand in CBDC research and this week, it was revealed that the two will publish their report by Q1 next year. Hong Kong has also been working with the People’s Bank of China on its digital currency project as well as R3 blockchain consortium and other stakeholders.

China has continued to become friendly to blockchain technology, and this week, it emerged that the country would adopt a decentralized identification system for its cities. The move is part of its Smart City initiative and will aim to improve the connectivity and data sharing between China’s cities. Still on decentralized identification, Azerbaijan is on the verge of completing its own project. The project is set to be completed this year and will help the country protect personal data while also increasing the efficiency of data transfer and storage.

Corporate entities are also not being left behind in terms of adoption, with Coca Cola launching a blockchain-based system for its global supply chain. The company partnered with tech giant SAP on its project which will aim at bringing efficiency and cutting costs in its $21 billion supply network.

In the auto industry, Volvo is following in the steps of BMW, Ford and Honda in implementing blockchain into its operations. The Swedish company will rely on blockchain to track the cobalt used in the manufacture of its car batteries.

The mining chips manufacturing sector has been grabbing headlines in the past few weeks, and this week was no different. Bitmain has been caught up in leadership wrangles which have seen the two founders, Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan, fighting for control. With Wu having ousted Zhan a week ago, Zhan revealed this week that he would fight back to regain control of the company. While Bitmain is under wrangles, its competitor Canaan Creative revealed that it generated over $100 million in revenues in the third quarter.

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