China wants 1.4B citizens to use digital yuan⚕️
China's big push for the CBDC. Trader makes a comeback from FTX debacle. Trader makes $400K+ trading DeFi tokens in 30 days. 👍 emoji valid as a contract agreement in Canada. Hollywood vs AI rages on.
The digital yuan is already changing lives in China. Civil servants in Changshu receive their salaries in digital yuan, while bus routes in Jinan accept digital yuan payments. Even the picturesque tourist spot of Sanya has shiny new digital yuan ATMs. It's making its mark in retail outlets throughout the nation.
But here's the catch
Despite its state support, the digital yuan hasn't captured the hearts of consumers just yet. In Ningbo, a city of nearly 10 million, only over 8,000 users per day opted for digital yuan payments. Many consumers find little difference between the digital yuan app and established payment services like Alipay and WeChat Pay. Privacy concerns and labelling it "centralised Alipay" add to the resistance.
A long way to go
By the end of 2022, there were 261 million digital yuan wallet users, roughly 18% of the population. However, the cumulative transaction volume remained modest at 100 billion yuan ($14 billion), equating to just $53 per wallet. This pales in comparison to the 118 trillion RMB ($16.5 trillion) in transactions processed domestically by Alipay in a year.
The state is determined
Changing consumer behaviour, especially with money, is no easy feat. However, with the full support of the Chinese government, the digital yuan's adoption rate may skyrocket, setting an example for other countries exploring central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Government incentives, hard wallets, and deals/discounts aim to entice users to switch.
Local governments hold lotteries, promotions, and discounts to encourage digital yuan usage. The digital currency's ambitions extend globally, with plans to use it in trade and cross-border payments. China envisions a world where the US dollar takes a backseat and the digital yuan plays a significant role in settling international transactions.
China aims to diminish the US dollar's dominance in international trade, promoting settlement in yuan or local currencies. In fact, the yuan surpassed the dollar as the most widely used currency for cross-border payments with China. The digital yuan may be a key player in this endeavour, as seen in cross-border trade trials between China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and the UAE.
Hong Kong's newly enacted virtual asset trading platform licensing regime has injected a surge of confidence into the virtual asset space, inspiring young minds to consider careers in the crypto sector.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) reports that technologies like stablecoins and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are crucial for the city's 277,000 financial sector employees. Hong Kong is actively exploring a CBDC pilot, while stablecoins currently play a significant role in digital transactions.
While stablecoins are not currently covered by Hong Kong's virtual asset regime, the government aims to introduce stablecoin regulations by year-end, reflecting its commitment to digital currency innovation.
HKSII Set to Train Crypto Traders
Hong Kong's prestigious Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute (HKSII) takes the lead in educating the next generation of licensed crypto traders. With Hong Kong solidifying its position as a thriving crypto hub, the HKSII is gearing up to equip aspiring traders with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the crypto realm with confidence and finesse.
The HKSII, renowned for training and conducting license exams for brokers and asset managers, is all set to introduce a series of training programs and seminars dedicated to virtual assets in the coming months.
From exploring the integration of digital assets into traditional finance's IT architecture to uncovering the secrets of digital assets for portfolio management, these educational initiatives promise to be a thrilling ride.
As a vital licensing body in Hong Kong's financial services sector, the HKSII maintains close ties with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (HKSFC). The HKSFC plays a pivotal role in overseeing crypto businesses and shaping the city's evolving crypto sector. Unlike Singapore, Hong Kong embraces retail crypto trading, recognizing its importance within a flourishing virtual asset ecosystem.
TTD Traders 🪙
Meet Kasper Vandeloock, the comeback king of crypto trading. Lost over 90% of net worth on FTX, but now raising $450,000 for Musca Capital 📉
With the support of an NFT project Hashmask founder (mum's the word on which one) and two other mysterious backers, Vandeloock is on a mission to reclaim his throne. Armed with his trusty parrot sidekick, Kiko, he's spent the past two years fine-tuning his trading systems to perfection. Now, armed with fresh funds, he's diving headfirst into automated strategies, particularly those that go in a single direction.
Vandeloock isn't just any ordinary trader. He's a master at finding hidden opportunities. He once played the BitMEX exchange like a fiddle, taking advantage of overloaded trading engines and making those prices dance to his tune. During the 2019 March meltdown, while Bitcoin took a dip, Vandeloock cleverly exploited the price difference between swap contracts and index prices.
But even trading geniuses make mistakes. Unfortunately, Vandeloock trusted FTX a bit too much and ended up keeping most of his fortune there. When FTX went belly up in November 2022, his funds got trapped, leaving him high and dry. But he's taking it as a valuable lesson learned.
"My approach to calculating the counterparty risks of centralised exchanges has changed a lot."
Now we have another guy
This crypto trader is on fire!
He managed to rake in a whopping $427,000 in profits within just one month. He didn't even need to dabble in meme coins.
How did he do it? By being a master of the bull run and investing in the native tokens of major DeFi projects like Uniswap's UNI, Lido's LDO, and Aave's AAVE.
Using the pseudonymous Ox123d address, this trader went all in, splurging $942,000 on 71,891 UNI at a steal of $4.34, 6,371 AAVE at a bargain price of $50, and 189,255 LDO for a mere $1.64 on June 16.
Fast forward to July 15, and UNI had skyrocketed to $5.85, AAVE was going strong at $79, and LDO was dancing at $2.37. Boom! The trader cashed in on his smart moves, selling all his tokens for a jaw-dropping $1.37 million. 40% gain in just 30 days.
TTD Emoji 👍
The thumbs-up emoji is not to be taken lightly. It now holds serious legal consequences. Canada's court has declared the humble thumbs-up emoji as a valid affirmation for entering into a contract.
According to reports, a farmer in Canada found himself embroiled in a legal battle over whether a simple thumbs-up emoji meant he agreed to sell tons of flax to a grain buyer in 2021. Who knew emojis could hold such legal weight?
Judge T.J. Keene acknowledged the growing influence of emojis in modern society. Emojis have become a new form of expression, even in serious matters like business dealings. With more people using emojis to convey their thoughts and emotions, it was time for the legal world to catch up.
The case unravelled as the grain buyer sent the purchase contract to the farmer, accompanied by the prompt, "Please confirm flax contract." The farmer, in a moment of emoji brilliance, replied with a thumbs-up emoji.
The buyer interpreted this as a clear acceptance of the contract, while the farmer claimed it was merely a confirmation of receipt. It was up to Judge Keene to decipher the true meaning behind this digital thumbs-up.
Examining their past trade history, the judge considered the context. The farmer had previously responded to sales agreements with casual phrases like "looks good," "ok," or "yup."
In the end, Judge Keene referred to the dictionary.com definition of the thumbs-up emoji as a symbol of assent and approval in digital communication.
However, legal expert Eric Goldman reminds us that the thumbs-up emoji's meaning can still vary depending on the context and individual case. Some mischievous youngsters might use it sarcastically, while others may simply confirm message receipt.
TTD Hollywood 🌈
Its Hollywood vs AI
Lights, Camera, Strike!
Hollywood's glittering stars and talented writers have joined forces to combat a common enemy: artificial intelligence (AI). The result? The first joint strike in 63 years, bringing the massive Hollywood machine to a halt and sending shockwaves through the industry.
"What they are doing is taking our work, dissecting it, and putting it into a machine, a blender, that spits it back out."
Writers vs AI
Writers from the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have taken a bold stand against the encroachment of AI in film and television production. With concerns that AI could potentially replace human creativity, negotiations between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have hit a roadblock, leading to this epic strike. The writers fear that their craft could be dissected and blended into a soulless machine that spits out generic content.
The glittering stars of Hollywood, led by the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), have rallied alongside the writers. Their rallying cry? AI should serve as a tool, not a replacement for the magic that only human performers can bring to the screen. With fears of AI replicating performances without consent and robbing actors of proper compensation, they stand firm, determined to protect their craft.
With over 20,000 writers from the WGA leading the charge, the strike gained momentum as SAG-AFTRA's 160,000 members officially joined the cause. Negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers had reached an impasse, leaving the industry at a standstill. The joint force of writers and actors demonstrates their unwavering commitment to defending their creative livelihoods from the AI invasion.
TTD Surfer 🏄
SEC has officially acknowledged BlackRock's application for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).
JPMorgan analysts believe that the recent ruling on Ripple's XRP token is a positive development for Coinbase.
Ark Invest, led by Cathie Wood, has sold more than $50 million worth of Coinbase shares as the stock continues to rally.
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