Jun 08, 2020 09:42 PM | Zhehao Chen

Introduction


China is one of the world’s most important cryptocurrency markets, but its environment is very unique. 


China’s government tends to be supportive of blockchain technology but unfriendly to crypto trading. On September 4, 2017, the country’s central government released a comprehensive ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and defined ICOs as illegal funding activity. Mainland-based exchanges were also shut down. 


These restrictions can give foreign observers the impression that cryptocurrency is “banned” in China, but that is not the case. China still has active over-the-counter (OTC) trading, and many Chinese people follow cryptocurrency with great interest. 


The question is: Which tokens attract the most attention in China? The chart below shows crypto token mentions on jinse.com, one of China’s largest blockchain media sites, from October 2019 through March 2020. Like many Chinese news sites, Jinse does original reporting but also cross-posts reporting on cryptocurrency from other sources, so the stories on the site are fairly representative of China’s crypto media landscape. 


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To give you a deeper understanding of China’s crypto market, we have provided some information about the background and current status of various cryptocurrencies there. The list below is ordered according to the Top 20 cryptocurrency projects on CoinMarketCap as of April 2020. As you will see, a token’s market cap ranking does not necessarily correlate with its popularity in China. 


Quick Overview of Bitcoin and Ethereum (CoinMarketCap rankings 1 and 2) 


In China, Bitcoin is the clear market leader, followed by Ethereum, just like elsewhere in the world. There’s far too extensive a history of BTC and ETH in China to include all the details here, so here's a brief overview of some main events. 


China was once the center of the Bitcoin universe. In 2016, most Bitcoin trades were in Chinese currency. After China cracked down on Bitcoin exchanges and ICOs in September 2017, Bitcoin’s price dropped, but only temporarily. Not long after, Bitcoin entered a bull market, and Chinese Bitcoin investors turned to OTC trading, which we described in detail here. 


While Chinese authorities are wary of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is not banned in China. In fact, in 2019 China’s Central Bank published an infographic to raise awareness about Bitcoin. 


China remains an extremely important player in Bitcoin mining, and Chinese official statements can still move the global market. Bitcoin’s price surged by around 18% in October 2019, when Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted the importance of blockchain technology. President Xi was very clearly talking about blockchain, not Bitcoin, but the price jump showed that investors didn’t really see the difference. 


LongHash charts Chinese interest in Bitcoin by looking at data from the search engine Baidu, as well as Chinese social media. 


Ethereum may have a more special connection to the Chinese crypto community. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Wanxiang Blockchain Lab’s Feng Xiao and Fenbushi Capital’s Bo Shen co-founded two entities in October 2015. One was Fenbushi Capital, which invests in blockchain startups, and the other was Wanxiang Blockchain Lab, a non-profit organization to support non-commercial projects. Both Wanxiang Blockchain Labs and Fenbushi Capital (an investor in LongHash) are based in Shanghai, and Vitalik’s involvement helped Ethereum attract attention in the Chinese market.


Shen told LongHash that he and Vitalik traveled extensively around China and other parts of Asia in the period from 2014 to 2017. He added that Vitalik could read, write and speak Chinese fluently.


China is an extremely important player in Ethereum mining right now, and there are also all kinds of Ethereum communities in China. But interest is not just at the community level: China’s national blockchain platform, the Blockchain Service Network (BSN), will incorporate both Ethereum and EOS. 


XRP (3) 


Ripple attracted quite a lot of attention in China in its early days, due to its technical architecture. It didn’t hurt that Tron’s Justin Sun, one of the top influencers in China’s cryptocurrency space, served as Ripple’s chief representative in China from 2013 to 2016. 

 

The strong performance of Ripple’s XRP coin may have inspired many Chinese retail investors to buy the coin. In 2013, a third-party comprehensive gateway in China called Ripple China appeared to help Chinese people trade XRP for cash. 

 

When Ripple was initially created, its main target was cross-border payments and transfers between large financial institutions. However, the majority of Ripple’s users in China are XRP holders rather than participants in the Ripple system. Ripple’s attempts to build a larger B2B business based in China have largely failed due to the relatively closed financial system. 

 

Back in November 2018, the founder and CEO of Ripple stated in an interview in Singapore that Ripple was planning to enter the Chinese market and already had a Chinese client, LianLian Technology. U.S.-based American Express partnered with LianLian to set up a joint venture named Lian Tong Technology. LianLian used Ripple’s blockchain for the settlement of e-payment transactions and deployed xCurrent for the settlement of cross-border payments. In January 2019, Ripple announced its cooperation with Tsinghua University to launch the Blockchain Technology Research Scholarship Program. This news was followed by an effort to look for a head of China in February and the establishment of an office in Shanghai. Other than that, there appears to have been little movement.

 

Today, with the Chinese government including blockchain as a key infrastructure, more and more local projects are flooding into the market, which will inevitably squeeze overseas projects in China. It may be increasingly difficult for Ripple to grab market share in China as Ripple mainly targets B2B applications, which some Chinese blockchain companies are already working on.


USDT (4) 


Stablecoins have a special significance in China. After China’s September 2017 restrictions, many exchanges made it impossible for people to trade Renminbi for Bitcoin. If Chinese cryptocurrency traders wanted to trade on exchanges, they needed an alternative to fiat. 


Tether-issued USDT, which is supposedly pegged to the US dollar,  became an obvious choice. According to CoinMarketCap, in August 2017, USDT's total market cap was around $300 million. By December 31, 2017, the figure had soared directly to nearly $1.4 billion. According to Chainalysis, most of the new USDT minted after the 2017 restrictions went to Chinese exchanges. (It’s worth noting that it is not clear how Chainalysis decides which exchanges are “Chinese”). 


According to wallet.tether.to/richlist, we can also see that among the top 4 USDT addresses, Huobi accounts for two and Binance for one. Although the two exchanges also have a significant number of non-Chinese users, as we explain further down, Huobi's traffic analysis shows that over 40% of Huobi's traffic may come from Chinese users. 


The Chainalysis report, Why Tether Dominates in China, also shows that after the September 2017 crackdown, the BTC/CNY trading pair was completely replaced by BTC/USDT and BTC/USD pairs. On top of this there is also a large amount of CNY entering the cryptocurrency market via OTC and P2P channels (e.g. Huobi OTC’s WeChat group). The same report mentions that since March 2018, the volume in Asia's OTC market skyrocketed up to nearly $150 million USD.


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BCH (5) & BSV (6)


On November 15, 2018, the Bitcoin fork Bitcoin Cash forked in two. Due to the different technical routes chosen by BCH and BSV, the community development of the two projects in China also presents a completely different picture. 


BCH generally represents the interests of Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu and many other domestic mining farms. The coin also has the solid support of many influencers in China’s crypto space, such as Haibo Yang of ViaBTC and Zhuoer Jiang of BTC.TOP. The BCH Club may be the largest BCH community in China, with its own official website and WeChat public account. Most of its information is published in the WeChat community. BCH Club has less than 10 WeChat groups, and a core paid WeChat group named BCH Angel. To join BCH Angel, people are required to hold more than 100 BCH. Members are required to pay 1 BCH in their first year of membership and 1,000 RMB for the next year's renewal. The group will hold closed meetings from time to time. With its technical roadmap focused on the payment level, BCH has fewer community-level applications and more protocol-level ones. This also explains why BCH does not have many community applications in China.


While BSV's spiritual leader Craig Wright is not Chinese, BSV's communities in China are exceptionally vibrant. The foundation also pays quite a lot of attention to the development of its China communities. Bitcoin Association appointed its head of China in August 2019 to coordinate the construction of the BSV ecosystem in China. 


BSV's official media channels in China are BSV’s official WeChat account and official Weibo account. BSV's most active community in China appears to be SVSkull Club, in which Craig Wright himself is a member. The SVSkull Club is also a paid group, with a $10 USD monthly membership fee. All information is publicly available, with past group chat records available directly at https://svskull.club


In addition, there is also a high-quality information website bsvers.com, which is set up by BSV enthusiasts. The latest BSV information is updated here. 


BSV has a large number of apps developed worldwide. Peergame's tweet pointed out that according to incomplete statistics, by April 28, 2020, there were 414 BSV-based projects worldwide. According to BSV community members, there are more than 20 projects based in China, including Tocial, weblock, howpay, showjob, etc. 


Last December, BSV held its first China-based conference in Beijing, with over 250 members in attendance. Craig Wright himself delivered a presentation, followed by an event held by the Tsinghua Blockchain Association. In contrast, BCH only held a Hong Kong Summit before the fork. 


While BCH's China community largely relies on the support of several domestic big names, BSV's Chinese community takes root at a more local level, with more developers and enthusiasts contributing to its development.


LTC (7)


Litecoin (LTC) is one of the earliest altcoins. China, as one of the main powerhouses for crypto mining, has attracted some LTC players. 


The early years saw technical and mining communities of various sizes emerge in the country. When it comes to the promotion of LTC in China, one has to mention an individual known as PZ, who was one of the earliest LTC team members and initiated the promotion of LTC in China. He founded the Litecoin China Community and the Litecoin Global Roundtable Forum. 


In 2017, the LTC community witnessed a major disagreement over whether to support the SegWit upgrade that would potentially hurt miners' interests. To avoid the split between developers and miners that happened in the Bitcoin community, PZ created the Litecoin Global Roundtable Forum to coordinate LTC's development between major exchanges, chip producers, mining rig manufacturers, and big miners.


After the implementation of SegWit was approved, Charlie Lee, the low-key founder of Litecoin, also changed his tune and traveled to Wuhan, China to participate in an event for local LTC enthusiasts. Charlie Lee has been relatively friendly to the Chinese market, at least compared to the other founders of the major altcoins. He also has a Weibo account with more than 20,000 followers. 


The major social media platform of LTC China is Weibo, whose account currently has more than 10,000 followers. Besides, LTC China also has two official QQ groups, one of which members have to pay to join. 


There have been fewer events for LTC China over the last two years. One of the more recent ones was a technical seminar held by LTC China in Wuhan, in which Jihan Wu, PZ and Zhuoer Jiang all participated. 


As a PoW-based cryptocurrency for payments, Litecoin mainly focuses on the mining space. The community in China seems to be dominated by older players.


EOS (8)


EOS has been enjoying great popularity in China, with a large number of EOS holders but also many community developers and ecosystem participants. 


EOS nodes data offers the most direct reflection of the popularity of EOS in China. We crawled and analyzed the node data of eospark (data is from 5/6/2020). Of the 613 nodes included, 56 nodes are from mainland China, followed by 43 nodes from the US, 31 from Singapore, 17 from Canada and 15 from Hong Kong. We have excluded 284 nodes without regions marked. 


China-based nodes account for 23% of all votes for DPoS block production, while Canada accounts for 8%, which ranked second. The daily rewards for Chinese nodes account for 35% of the network, followed by that of Singapore nodes, accounting for 13%. According to the data, among the 21 supernodes, 8 nodes are based in China. This has led to concerns that EOS is basically controlled by China. 


EOS has no official regional community in any country. The largest community in China is called EOS Gravity. This community hosts various online and offline events and is dedicated to helping the construction of communities and nodes. EOS Gravity also regularly releases its own EOS weekly ecosystem report and development report, as well as some analysis reports about the coin's secondary market. EOS Gravity has established more than 80 WeChat groups, with a total of more than 200,000 community members. Its Weibo account also has over 10,000 followers.


The reason why EOS has such a large fan base in China is closely related to the blockchain entrepreneurship of EOS founder Daniel Larimer. Larimer’s interest in Bitcoin was inspired in 2009. Later, Larimer developed an improvement on another mainstream consensus mechanism, PoS, and launched DPoS. This is how Larimer's first project Bitshares was born. 


In 2013 Ju Xie and James Gong (LongHash co-founder) translated Bitshares' white paper, laying a solid foundation for Bitshares' influence in China. Larimer left Bitshares for various reasons and started his second blockchain project, Steemit. Later, he again left the project to start a third one — EOS. This was when Steemit was growing steadily. 


The success of Bitshares and Steemit won Larimer the support of many Chinese investors at the time of founding EOS. According to Caixin, Xiaolai Li, the aforementioned Bitshares Angel round investor, holds 8% of Block.One's shares and 5% of EOS. 


During the EOS nodes campaign, many Chinese key opinion leaders in the crypto space made high-profile announcements that they were joining which laid a solid foundation for EOS growth in China. This is also the reason why the media exposure frequency of EOS in China's crypto industry can rank after BTC, ETH, and USDT. 


Recently, an online statement by Larimer cast a shadow over the Chinese EOS community. During the breakout of COVID-19 in China, Larimer stated in a tweet that compared with the economic loss, the 2% death rate caused by COVID-19 in China was more acceptable. Larimar’s words spread on Chinese social media and this may have contributed to EOS’s sharp 16% fall. Larimar later apologized for some of his COVID-19 tweets and said he removed them. 


The popularity of EOS in China has largely declined compared to the old days. At its peak, 17 out of its 21 supernodes were based in China. But EOS's latest main product, Voice, was not promoted in the Chinese market. Yet China still represents EOS’s largest national community.


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BNB (9) 


BNB is the coin issued by Binance exchange. Due to its association with Binance, BNB is very well-known in China. As the top 2 cryptocurrency exchanges by volume, Binance and Huobi have adopted completely different strategies in China. Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the founder of Binance, is a Canadian of Chinese descent and has always been interested in the globalization of the exchange. CZ was originally located in Shanghai, but he moved the team and servers out of China shortly before the 2017 crackdown. In 2020, a media report claimed that Binance’s Shanghai office had been raided, but at the time CZ claimed that Binance had no office in Shanghai.


Data from SimilarWeb shows that Binance’s website has a relatively balanced user distribution globally, while its ranking in China may not be listed in the top 5 (this data can be affected by the usage of VPN proxies, so the data may not be very accurate). 


The influence of Binance in China is mainly due to the personal influence of CZ and the company's CMO Yi He. CZ has nearly 300,000 followers on Weibo, while co-founder Yi He also had tens of thousands of followers before her account was blocked due to the speech regulation by Chinese government. We don't know the precise reason why, it could be simply because she had a very popular account related to cryptocurrency, which remains a somewhat sensitive topic.


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XTZ (10)


When Tezos conducted its ICO in July 2017, it raised 65,627 BTC and 361,122 ETH, the total value of which is $232 million USD. As one of the top 10 star projects in ICO history, Tezos naturally attracted communities domestically and overseas. 


Although Tezos had a solid user base, the official team did not immediately begin publicizing its technology in China. Now, it has a China team and official accounts on Weibo, WeChat, and Zhihu. Tezos also held a Chinese online AMA on March 24, 2020. 


General speaking, the three Chinese Tezos accounts have not attracted much attention. None of the pageviews of Tezos’ WeChat articles breach 200. Although it has 10,000 followers on Weibo, its posts do not receive many comments. Its account on Zhihu.com (Chinese Quora) is less well-known. The three accounts are mostly used to update project progress, without much interaction. 


For now, there isn’t a large Tezos community in China, which forms a sharp contrast with the situation overseas.


LEO (11)


LEO is a cryptocurrency launched by Bitfinex in May 2019, with the purpose of raising money to fill a funding gap of $850 million. The cause of the incident was Bitfinex's $850 million assets deposited in the fund of custodian partner Crypto Capital. Due to its loose KYC policy, the exchange was investigated for possible money laundering activities. The $850 million in funds were then frozen by Portugal, Poland, the UK, and the United States. 


The total issuance of LEO is 1 billion, all of which are sold in the form of private sales. The issue price is 1 USDT. The sale successfully raised $1 billion within 10 days


The coin itself lacks application scenarios. If traders pay trading fees in LEO, they can have a discount. Bitfinex uses the revenue to repurchase LEO and burn the token from time to time to support the price of the token. Since LEO itself does not have much hype and is mainly sold in the form of private sales, Chinese retail investors have shown very low participation. There is essentially no LEO community in China.


XLM (12)


As a fork project launched by Ripple’s co-founder Jed McCaleb, Stellar’s leading feature is also cross-border transfers and payments. Different from Ripple, Stellar is targeting the daily small-volume payments of ordinary customers. Similar to Ripple, most of Stellar’s users are token holders rather than ecosystem participants. 


One of Stellar’s last major activities in China took place in May 2017. The company and Shenqiu Technology held a strategic partnership signing ceremony at Jinqiu's Shanghai headquarter to establish a Sino-US joint venture that would use Stellar to build an online payment platform for global users and provide technical support to organizations and individuals with access to Stellar. Jed McCaleb served as CTO of the joint venture. 


However, we have not heard much from either Stellar or Shenqiu Technology since then. 


XLM (13)


Monero’s XLM is a privacy-focused token launched in 2014. Monero and Dash, also launched that same year, have adopted different anonymous transaction principles but have both attracted a batch of loyal supporters. The community governance mechanisms of Monero and Dash are completely different, as are the two projects' promotion roadmaps. 


Monero has adopted a community governance model. The project does not pay the developers. Instead, all of the block rewards are distributed to miners. Funds for developers come from the donation of the community. Therefore, the ecosystem of Monero mainly focuses on the technology development level. 


Like many other PoW-based coins, in the early days, Monero's community in China was dominated by QQ groups of mining farm owners. Monero's communities in China are now fragmented. 


The development of Monero's Chinese community mainly started in the last two years. Jin Dou Yun, one of the main members of Monero's China community, has been translating and reprinting articles to crypto-related forums since the end of 2018. Another main member of the community, Wei Lai Kong, also started translating and reprinting articles on Jianshu.com since the beginning of 2019. 


Several members of the Chinese community also established the Monero China Foundation in December 2019 in order to build the randomX mining pool, an exchange for Monero's main trading pairs, a hash payment system, the remote fast nodes of Monero China,a hash check download package and full node package, a Monero website system tutorial, translated videos about Monero, and OTC compliance funds. 


But, overall, Monero's Chinese community is still weak, mainly relying on Monero enthusiasts’ volunteer contributions.


ADA (14)


Cardano was established in 2015 and conducted an ICO from late 2015 to early 2017 in Japan. According to the auditing result published by Cardano, almost all of ADA’s investors came from Asia, and the top four countries by proportion were Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, respectively accounting for 94.45%, 2.56%, 2.39%, and 0.42%. Cardano is composed of three organizations -- the Cardano Foundation, Input Output HK (IOHK), which is responsible for its development, and Emurgo, which is responsible for supporting and incubating other project teams within the ecosystem. As Emurgo is a Japan-based company, ADA is doing very well in Japan, with the support of a large number of Japanese investors. 


On Cardano's official forum, there are special sections in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and German. ADA also set up an official WeChat and Weibo account in China long ago and has a core WeChat group and a Chinese Telegram group. 


The official team also stated in a tweet in June 2019 that Cardano was in discussions with Chinese universities to design and implement a blockchain course that would focus on the Haskell language used on the Cardano network. After its ICO, Cardano's Chinese community saw some good days. Although it did not have as many ecosystem projects as Cardano Japan, it did enjoy some popularity in China. 


However, in July 2018, Cardano's director of China, De Li, left his position and revealed negative information about Emurgo in the WeChat group, casting a shadow over Cardano China. But as the core part of Cardano is IOHK, ADA is slowly getting on track with the efforts of Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano and CEO of IOHK. On the whole, although ADA has not invested many resources in business development in China and remains community-oriented, ADA still has accumulated a following in China.


LINK (15)


As one of the most trendy projects of 2019, the value of Chainlink soared more than 12x within one year, thanks to bullish news including the launch of its mainnet, its  partnership with Google and Oracle, and the listing of Chainlink's native token LINK on Coinbase. 


As the leading project in the oracle field, Chainlink is in high demand in the cryptocurrency market. Chainlink is able to work in combination with most of the public chains that support smart contracts and can provide various oracle services for dApps on the public chains. Chainlink's business characteristics make it one of the most commercially capable blockchain projects. As a major market in the blockchain industry, China has received Chainlink's attention since 2019. Chainlink has set up a relatively complete set of official channels in China, from WeChat to QQ groups, Weibo and bihu.com. 


The official website of Chainlink is only available in English and Chinese, which shows the importance of the Chinese market. Adelyn Zhou, the CMO of Chainlink, is of Chinese descent and has said that she is interested in the Chinese market. Another person worth mentioning is the head of Chainlink's Chinese community, Tiao Zige. There is a rumor that at the end of 2018, when he bet on Chainlink, the total value of a single type of token eventually surpassed RMB 100 million. This legendary tale of Tiao Zige has also given Chainlink's Chinese community some FOMO color. 


In September 2019, Chainlink launched a month-long roadshow in China at Shanghai Blockchain Week, with meet-up events in Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Beijing. Sergey Nazarov, CEO of Chainlink, was  present at the events personally. Chainlink also recently launched an Incentive Program for China's Developer Community to encourage developers to use Chainlink during its hackathons in China. Chainlink also prepares technical guidance for Chinese developers. 


There are also a number of projects in China that are using Chainlink's price feeding service, including some old blockchain projects such as Loopring and new projects such as Conflux


Overall, Chainlink has a well-developed token holder community and a relatively mature developer community. What's more, many China-based projects are also using Chainlink's oracle services.


TRX (16)


When it comes to TRON, the one person we must mention is its founder, Justin Sun, who is probably the top influencer in China’s cryptocurrency sphere. Sun founded TRON in 2017, just as blockchain was becoming one of the more promising and attractive sectors for China’s entrepreneurs. He conducted an ICO and invited many famous opinion leaders to endorse the project. 


Sun had over 1 million followers on Weibo in early 2019, but the hype around him reached a peak in 2019 when he spent over $4.5 million for a charity auction to dine with Warren Buffet. Sun then rescheduled the dinner, supposedly because of kidney stones. 


Sun has also attracted a lot of attention by making use of various social events. For example, he declared that he would repay part of OFO bike users’ deposits when the company was in crisis, and that he would pay the medical bill of an employee laid off by the Internet company Netease because of cancer. 


Many people in China came to know about cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and TRON through Justin Sun. His popularity remains high even though his Weibo account was closed several times. Every time he recreated an account, he attracted hundreds of thousands of followers. It seems that the marketing gene is profoundly engraved in Sun’s DNA.


Generally speaking, TRON may be the most well-positioned blockchain project in China in terms of media channels. In addition to a Chinese Telegram group with over 1,000 members, TRON also has three official QQ groups with 1,000 participants each. TRON’s WeChat public account is updated every day at 12 a.m., with several announcements each day. TRON also set up an exclusive WeChat group for holders of more than 100,000 TRX. In addition, Sun has also actively participated in various live broadcast activities. Overall, TRON is the public chain that has shown the best understanding of how to operate projects in China.


HT (17)


HT is the coin issued by Huobi exchange. Due to its association with Huobi, HT is very well-known in China. As mentioned earlier, according to SimilarWeb 40% of Huobi's traffic comes from China. Huobi also initiated its industrial deployment early in China. It established Huobi China in order to empower all kinds of industries with blockchain technology. Huobi China owns four major business platforms — Huobi Research Institute, Huobi University, Huobi Labs, and an Industry Empowerment Center — to offer customized solutions for the Chinese government and enterprises. Huobi has attracted a large number of potential users while providing solutions for governmental organizations and companies. 


According to data from ChainNode, Huobi has held 13 events so far, while Binance has held 8. On China's major social media platform Weibo, Huobi has more than 100,000 followers, while Binance only has a bit over 15,000 followers. Some of this difference may have to do with the fact that Binance’s Weibo account has been shut down in the past, causing them to have to create a new one. 


In general, Huobi had gained more traction than Binance in the Chinese market even though, according to Coingecko, Binance's spot trading volume is five times higher than that of Huobi.


CRO (18)


Founded in 2016, Crypto.com is a cryptocurrency payment platform, providing products like cryptocurrency-enabled Visa cards, and services like quantitative investments, cryptocurrency management, and lending services. In addition, Crypto.com has also released its own public chain as well as issued the token CRO. 


Crypto.com's Visa card is currently only available in 31 countries in Europe, US, and Singapore. As cryptocurrency payments are a sensitive topic in China, few payment-based projects have established communities in the mainland. For this reason, Crypto.com has not attracted much attention in China.


DASH (19)


Compared with Monero’s comparatively distributed communities in China, the development of Dash in China is more organized.Dash is an open-source project with a funds management mechanism, the overseas development of which is quite systematic. Back in 2015, Dash established an official Chinese forum and QQ group. The QQ group now has over 1,000 members. Dash also established the Dash China team in late 2019 and held its first press release in a hotel in Beijing


Generally speaking, due to the nature of anonymity and the lack of smart contracts support, the ecosystems of Monero and Dash have fewer possibilities than other tokens. Therefore, the overall size of their communities also tends to be smaller.


USDC (20)


The USDC stablecoin is far less popular in China than USDT. 


USDC is developed by Circle based on CENTRE architecture. Circle is also the first issuer of USDC. Except for Circle, the main way to get USDC is through the Coinbase exchange. Coinbase does not offer registration service to Chinese users, while Circle also stopped offering services to Chinese users long ago due to policy issues. 


USDT has other selling points as well. According to Castle Island Venture’s partner Nic Carter, “some traders in China have a preference for USDT because they think it is less likely that money held in this particular stablecoin will be frozen… USDT appears to be less accessible to regulators and lawmakers than the other stablecoins on the market.”


Carter also pointed out that as other stablecoins have backdoors “with the explicit purpose of assisting law enforcement, funds deposited in these coins are more likely to be confiscated than those in USDT.”


USDC’s relative risk, on top of its inaccessibility in China, makes Chinese people less likely to choose it.


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