Cryptocurrencies are undergoing de-Chinaing, a period in which China’s anti-cryptocurrency regulation will force miners and centralized exchanges into exile, while other projects go underground.
This has really played out, as we have seen almost all miners leave China and chase power around the world.
But the staying power of NFT is rarely foreseen.
Suddenly, cryptocurrency weibo groups are filled with punk fans, ape guardians, and looting revolutionaries. So let’s demystify the Chinese NFT scene a little bit, and let’s start by distinguishing between the two types of NFT we see in China.
Web 2.0 NFTs are JPEGs created by Chinese Internet giants such as Alibaba and Tencent.These JPEGs are.
Relatively cheap has no real cryptocurrency element (exchanged in RMB, lives on a centralized ledger). Cannot be traded on the secondary market has obvious Chinese cultural elements (e.g. slang, internet phenomenon)
Web 3.0 NFTs are similar to the cryptocurrency NFTs most people are now familiar with, but there are some differences. Web 3.0 NFTs in China.
Contains elements of Chinese culture. Example collection. The Children of Jianghu and Kung Fu Hero. (“Jianghu” comes from the longest Chinese painting, “Qingming Shanghe Tu”, considered a national treasure.) Multi-chains, as many of them are launched on the Binance smart chain. Gamification: pioneered by Pop Mart’s “Blind Box”, many NFTs are not selling JPEGs, but a surprise experience – you don’t know what you’re going to get. Here are two compelling NFT communities in China.
Club721 is the newest NFT club, a community of NFT collectors who share the latest news, analysis and price drops about NFT (and of course, DAO is coming soon). From a founding group of 7, the community has expanded to over 7,000 community members. Given the stage of the NFT cycle we’re in and its wealth creation, its success is inevitable in hindsight. Everyone wants to know about the latest drop so they can buy and get a 10x exit.
And Club721 comes at the right time, when there is a lot of information fragmentation and asymmetry for Chinese viewers wanting to peek at the latest collectibles. To me, it feels a bit like the early summers of DeFi, where communities were rapidly forming around thought leaders who aggregated global information.
Going forward, Club721 aims to grow into a gated NFT community, similar to Friends With Benefits or PleasrDAO, meaning that only members with community tokens or NFTs have the right to participate.
It goes without saying that MAODAO is the largest space of NFT contributors, advocates and thought leaders in China. Its RPC (Ready Player Cat) series and sheer dedication to the gaming money making space sets MAODAO apart from other JPEG speculator groups.
In contrast to many NFT studios that have abandoned JPEG and left, MAODAO continues to build games and financial tools; the meta-space is its end game. And what impresses me most about MAODAO is its activism in promoting Chinese culture through NFT.
What’s the next step for NFTs in China?
Network 2.0 NFTs will continue to evolve in a compliant manner. Chinese internet giants will build their own NFTs, not on ethereum, but on corporate networks like AntChain from Ant Group. Their NFTs will be backed by local celebrities and may gain wider adoption.
Meanwhile, the Chinese gaming giants will quickly incorporate NFTs into their existing gaming empires and build a meta-universe, perhaps even larger than Facebook has promised.
Yet. Just like the internet, the Chinese metaverse will be sanctioned and gated by the Great Firewall. And that will frustrate cryptocurrency purists.
Network 3.0 NFTs will face challenges. They are more closely tied to the cryptocurrency ecosystem, and they touch coins that make governments anxious. Currently, there is no clear regulation of NFTs, perhaps due to their nascent nature. However, since people need cryptocurrencies to buy most NFTs, Network 3.0 NFTs will face obstacles if the government continues to crack down on cryptocurrencies going live.
If China extends its crackdown to NFTs, perhaps the more worrisome impact is not consumer participation, but artist participation. After all, NFTs are a cultural phenomenon driven largely by artistic tastes, especially those of influencers. That’s why we need more communities like Crypto Art Panda to nurture and cultivate domestic artists and creators. Without them, China would only be a consumer, not a creator, in this revolution.