As Cryptocurrency Losses Exceed $706 Billion, Chinese Investors Are Losing Faith In Blockchain

Bitcoins are displayed in front of a bitcoin price graph of Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange website on Nov. 20, 2018 in Paris, France.  (Photo: Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)

The global cryptocurrency market has already seen more than $706 billion of its total market capitalization evaporate since hitting a peak in early January, according to research site CoinMarketCap, and those losses appear to be triggering a shakeout in the wider blockchain community in China. Many startups there are finding it increasingly difficult to gain access to capital as investors grow skeptical of the fundamental claims around digital currencies and the blockchain technology that underpins them.

With visions of a decentralized new world order, many blockchain ventures had been touting themselves with the promise of new disruptive applications that would upend industries and revolutionize economies. But in hindsight, many of those startups were either exaggerating their potential benefits or the time that would be required to achieve them.

“It is a period of disillusionment. As much as I am a believer in the long term disruptive power of blockchain, it cannot solve all the problems in the world,” says Bonnie Cheung, a venture partner at 500 Startups. “You don’t know how many times we have read proposals that claimed to solve all pain points for almost every industry.”

But ten years after the publication of Satoshi Nakamoto’s famous white paper that gave birth to the blockchain concept, there are still no killer apps or transformational platforms in terms of real-world use cases of blockchain. Even the most mature application of payment – in the form of cryptocurrencies  appears to be losing some ground. The use of bitcoin in transactions handled by major payment processors dropped nearly 80% in the year up to September, according to Chainalysis.

“What has been reported by the media that around 40% of blockchain projects have shut down is too conservative,” says He Ning, chief operating officer of QOS, a venture that aims to create the infrastructure for large-scale commercial uses of blockchain.

“For any industry, around 20% of startups should fail when the sector’s market value drops 10%. With the kind of market collapse the crypto market has seen lately, almost all speculators have left, but that’s far from enough. I feel it takes around getting rid of 99% of crypto exchanges and unrealistic projects for a new wave of bull market to arrive,” he says.

To be sure, even as faith in blockchain ventures has been on the wane in China and industry participants have either departed the industry or are preparing to do so, there are still others who have been wading in with aims to cash in on the crash, and some of the earliest adopters are even celebrating what they see as a healthy shakeout of the industry.

“The blockchain industry has flushed out some poor-quality projects, and the entry barrier to the industry has increased, which is beneficial to the sector’s future growth,” said Hubery Yuming Yuan, CEO of Huobi China, who left brokerage firm Industrial Securities to join Huobi in March. “The (crypto) bubble burst has led to a more rationalized industry, and we have seen more practical attempts at blockchain applications.”

Yuan believes that many strong projects are continuing their development work and have not been impacted by the market’s downturns. “Solid public blockchain projects and numerous popular decentralized apps are gaining momentum,” he says. “Chinese enterprises and conglomerates continue to explore new blockchain use cases.”

It is increasingly clear that the bear market in cryptocurrencies has accentuated a market bifurcation.

“Only a few projects – most likely those under big institutions – will eventually do well. Ultimately, it’s winner takes all,” says Xinghua Luo, cofounder of BBShares, a hedge fund offering index funds in crypto assets. Luo is among those who are continuing to bet on the long-term future of cryptocurrency as an alternative asset class that eventually will be incorporated in most investment portfolios.

If the future of blockchain is “winner takes all” and a concentration of success by a few of China’s top players, what does it mean to one of blockchain’s fundamental promise of decentralization?

The prospects of blockchain applications have become narrower, and more people are starting to suggest that China’s blockchain ecosystem will eventually need to function mostly within a centralized structure. And the recent buzz around security token offerings (STO) represents a new form of token offering that exemplifies this because it actually complies with existing legal frameworks.

Earlier this month, an investor and cofounder of a Chinese blockchain project staged a dramatic departure. Yang Ning of CDC, a smart contract platform aiming to build a decentralized global consumer data asset exchange on the blockchain, blasted the entire industry in a media interview, while proclaiming that blockchain’s future can only exist under a centralized legal structure. For example, programs that would fall under the authority of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Yang’s case is somewhat emblematic of the dilemma faced by the blockchain community, and that is centralization happens quite naturally in many markets. Bitcoin, the largest of the cryptocurrencies, has seen a significant level of centralization in its mining, asset holding and computing power distribution. Bitmain Technologies is said to have approximately 42% control of the bitcoin network hashrate — a measure of the computing power dedicated to mining the digital currency. It is also the largest producer of bitcoin mining machines, and operates the largest bitcoin mining pools.

Moreover, blockchain’s real-world use cases are showing signs of becoming more narrowly defined. “Unlike steam engines, electricity, computers, artificial intelligence and quantum computing, blockchain is not a productivity revolution,” Huobi’s Yuan said. “Blockchain is similar to printing, papermaking, and the internet. It can liberate productivity even though perhaps it does not represent a fundamental technology breakthrough.”

While the markets look likely to remain volatile, blockchain investors find themselves facing unexpected challenges. For 500 Startups’ Bonnie Cheung, even success in blockchain could mean tricky problems. For instance, how to exit from truly distributed systems that generates huge revenues, but are difficult to sell as an asset?

“How do you convert an investment that started as a venture deal to something that ended up almost like a bond? Can you lend that bond? These are all interesting questions that will need to be answered in the future,” says Cheung.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


Privacy Policy

WideBitcoin.com is committed to safeguarding your privacy. Contact us at if you have any questions or problems regarding the use of your Personal Data and we will gladly assist you.

By using this site or/and our services, you consent to the Processing of your Personal Data as described in this Privacy Policy.

Table of Contents

  1. Definitions used in this Policy
  2. Data protection principles we follow
  3. What rights do you have regarding your Personal Data
  4. What Personal Data we gather about you
  5. How we use your Personal Data
  6. Who else has access to your Personal Data
  7. How we secure your data
  8. Information about cookies
  9. Contact information

Definitions

Personal Data – any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.
Processing – any operation or set of operations which is performed on Personal Data or on sets of Personal Data.
Data subject – a natural person whose Personal Data is being Processed.
Child – a natural person under 16 years of age.
We/us (either capitalized or not)

Data Protection Principles

We promise to follow the following data protection principles:

  • Processing is lawful, fair, transparent. Our Processing activities have lawful grounds. We always consider your rights before Processing Personal Data. We will provide you information regarding Processing upon request.
  • Processing is limited to the purpose. Our Processing activities fit the purpose for which Personal Data was gathered.
  • Processing is done with minimal data. We only gather and Process the minimal amount of Personal Data required for any purpose.
  • Processing is limited with a time period. We will not store your personal data for longer than needed.
  • We will do our best to ensure the accuracy of data.
  • We will do our best to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data.

Data Subject’s rights

The Data Subject has the following rights:

  1. Right to information – meaning you have to right to know whether your Personal Data is being processed; what data is gathered, from where it is obtained and why and by whom it is processed.
  2. Right to access – meaning you have the right to access the data collected from/about you. This includes your right to request and obtain a copy of your Personal Data gathered.
  3. Right to rectification – meaning you have the right to request rectification or erasure of your Personal Data that is inaccurate or incomplete.
  4. Right to erasure – meaning in certain circumstances you can request for your Personal Data to be erased from our records.
  5. Right to restrict processing – meaning where certain conditions apply, you have the right to restrict the Processing of your Personal Data.
  6. Right to object to processing – meaning in certain cases you have the right to object to Processing of your Personal Data, for example in the case of direct marketing.
  7. Right to object to automated Processing – meaning you have the right to object to automated Processing, including profiling; and not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated Processing. This right you can exercise whenever there is an outcome of the profiling that produces legal effects concerning or significantly affecting you.
  8. Right to data portability – you have the right to obtain your Personal Data in a machine-readable format or if it is feasible, as a direct transfer from one Processor to another.
  9. Right to lodge a complaint – in the event that we refuse your request under the Rights of Access, we will provide you with a reason as to why. If you are not satisfied with the way your request has been handled please contact us.
  10. Right for the help of supervisory authority – meaning you have the right for the help of a supervisory authority and the right for other legal remedies such as claiming damages.
  11. Right to withdraw consent – you have the right withdraw any given consent for Processing of your Personal Data.

Data we gather

Information you have provided us with
This might be your e-mail address, name, billing address, home address etc – mainly information that is necessary for delivering you a product/service or to enhance your customer experience with us. We save the information you provide us with in order for you to comment or perform other activities on the website. This information includes, for example, your name and e-mail address.

Information automatically collected about you
This includes information that is automatically stored by cookies and other session tools. For example, your shopping cart information, your IP address, your shopping history (if there is any) etc. This information is used to improve your customer experience. When you use our services or look at the contents of our website, your activities may be logged.

Information from our partners
We gather information from our trusted partners with confirmation that they have legal grounds to share that information with us. This is either information you have provided them directly with or that they have gathered about you on other legal grounds. See the list of our partners here.

Publicly available information
We might gather information about you that is publicly available.

How we use your Personal Data

We use your Personal Data in order to:

  • provide our service to you. This includes for example registering your account; providing you with other products and services that you have requested; providing you with promotional items at your request and communicating with you in relation to those products and services; communicating and interacting with you; and notifying you of changes to any services.
  • enhance your customer experience;
  • fulfil an obligation under law or contract;

We use your Personal Data on legitimate grounds and/or with your Consent.

On the grounds of entering into a contract or fulfilling contractual obligations, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to identify you;
  • to provide you a service or to send/offer you a product;
  • to communicate either for sales or invoicing;

On the ground of legitimate interest, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you personalized offers* (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • to administer and analyse our client base (purchasing behaviour and history) in order to improve the quality, variety, and availability of products/ services offered/provided;
  • to conduct questionnaires concerning client satisfaction;

As long as you have not informed us otherwise, we consider offering you products/services that are similar or same to your purchasing history/browsing behaviour to be our legitimate interest.

With your consent we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you newsletters and campaign offers (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
  • for other purposes we have asked your consent for;

We Process your Personal Data in order to fulfil obligation rising from law and/or use your Personal Data for options provided by law. We reserve the right to anonymise Personal Data gathered and to use any such data. We will use data outside the scope of this Policy only when it is anonymised. We save your billing information and other information gathered about you for as long as needed for accounting purposes or other obligations deriving from law, but not longer than 1 year.

We might process your Personal Data for additional purposes that are not mentioned here, but are compatible with the original purpose for which the data was gathered. To do this, we will ensure that:

  • the link between purposes, context and nature of Personal Data is suitable for further Processing;
  • the further Processing would not harm your interests and
  • there would be appropriate safeguard for Processing.

We will inform you of any further Processing and purposes.

Who else can access your Personal Data

We do not share your Personal Data with strangers. Personal Data about you is in some cases provided to our trusted partners in order to either make providing the service to you possible or to enhance your customer experience. We share your data with:

Our processing partners:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

Our business partners:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

Connected third parties:

  • facebook.com
  • google.com
  • bing.com
  • twitter.com
  • pinterest.com

We only work with Processing partners who are able to ensure adequate level of protection to your Personal Data. We disclose your Personal Data to third parties or public officials when we are legally obliged to do so. We might disclose your Personal Data to third parties if you have consented to it or if there are other legal grounds for it.

How we secure your data

We do our best to keep your Personal Data safe. We use safe protocols for communication and transferring data (such as HTTPS). We use anonymising and pseudonymising where suitable. We monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.

Even though we try our best we can not guarantee the security of information. However, we promise to notify suitable authorities of data breaches. We will also notify you if there is a threat to your rights or interests. We will do everything we reasonably can to prevent security breaches and to assist authorities should any breaches occur.

If you have an account with us, note that you have to keep your username and password secret.

Children

We do not intend to collect or knowingly collect information from children. We do not target children with our services.

Cookies and other technologies we use

We use cookies and/or similar technologies to analyse customer behaviour, administer the website, track users’ movements, and to collect information about users. This is done in order to personalize and enhance your experience with us.

A cookie is a tiny text file stored on your computer. Cookies store information that is used to help make sites work. Only we can access the cookies created by our website. You can control your cookies at the browser level. Choosing to disable cookies may hinder your use of certain functions.

We use cookies for the following purposes:

  • Necessary cookies – these cookies are required for you to be able to use some important features on our website, such as logging in. These cookies don’t collect any personal information.
  • Functionality cookies – these cookies provide functionality that makes using our service more convenient and makes providing more personalised features possible. For example, they might remember your name and e-mail in comment forms so you don’t have to re-enter this information next time when commenting.
  • Analytics cookies – these cookies are used to track the use and performance of our website and services
  • Advertising cookies – these cookies are used to deliver advertisements that are relevant to you and to your interests. In addition, they are used to limit the number of times you see an advertisement. They are usually placed to the website by advertising networks with the website operator’s permission. These cookies remember that you have visited a website and this information is shared with other organisations such as advertisers. Often targeting or advertising cookies will be linked to site functionality provided by the other organisation.

You can remove cookies stored in your computer via your browser settings. Alternatively, you can control some 3rd party cookies by using a privacy enhancement platform such as optout.aboutads.info or youronlinechoices.com. For more information about cookies, visit allaboutcookies.org.

We use Google Analytics to measure traffic on our website. Google has their own Privacy Policy which you can review here. If you’d like to opt out of tracking by Google Analytics, visit the Google Analytics opt-out page.

Read more about cookies on our Cookie Policy

Contact Information

email: [email protected]

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to make change to this Privacy Policy.

You can configure your Internet browser, by changing its options, to stop accepting cookies completely or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the website you visit. If you do not accept cookies, however, you may not be able to use all portions of the WideBitcoin Websites or all functionality of the Services.

Please note that disabling these technologies may interfere with the performance and features of the Services.

You may also disable cookies on the WideBitcoin Sites by modifying your settings here:

Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.

Last Update: May 25, 2018