19 May 2018 · 3 min read

Chinese "Damas" Wade Into Blockchain

Pictures of Chinese damas posing at the World Blockchain Conference broke the Internet. Damas have already proved their power in the gold and real estate markets.

Source: iStock/real444

With their silly dances to high-volume music in public squares, community centers or just on street corners across China, they are easy to spot and seem harmless. But the global financial market and the Chinese real estate market have learned tough lessons: Chinese damas are a force to be reckoned with.

For those of you who are confused, the Chinese word dama typically refers to married middle-aged Chinese women with grown-up children. Although it used to be a more honorable term, the word is used somewhat derogatory today thanks in large part to a well-known incident in 2013 when the gold market plunged, and Chinese middle-aged women rushed to jewelry shops all over the country to buy up everything they could of the precious metal, driving up global gold prices as a result.

Signs now show that the group has turned their eyes on the hottest technology of the day, namely Blockchain, leaving analysts and investors wondering what this means to the development of Blockchain technology.

This May, pictures of Chinese damas posing at the World Blockchain Conference in Macau broke the Internet, with sarcastic comments being posted all over major social networks in China.

The phrase “blockchain dama” has even become one of the hottest search phrases on Weibo, China’s version of a social network Twitter.

“Damas have embraced blockchain? That makes me – someone who was born after 1990 and has been exploring all kinds of new things daily – ashamed of my inferiority,” a blog article posted on Chinese website sohu.com stated.

Some even described damas as key opinion leaders, or KOLs, in not only in open air “square dancing,” but in the world of investing as a whole.

“When we think about it…Almost all of the investing hot waves in China has been led by damas. They have constantly searched for new investment opportunities with their eagle eye,” one user wrote in an article published on a Chinese tech industry news site. “To put it in one sentence: Wherever Chinese damas are, there are opportunities,” the author ironically pointed out.

Dama Power

And truth be told, nobody should be fooled by their silly looks. Damas are often deep-pocketed. In April of 2013, when global gold prices plummeted, Chinese damas bought 100 billion yuan (USD 15.79 billion) worth of gold in just ten days, driving up gold futures in New York 2.7% on April 26 that year.

Following the incident, these ladies were hailed as winners who finally defeated Wall Street, including an investment bank Goldman Sachs, which was forced to end its short-selling of gold futures.

In China, damas, who are known for their special appetite for real assets for both cultural and financial reasons, have also driven up real estate prices to the point where they have reached alarming levels, triggering strict government regulations.

But since the end of November 2013, growing evidence has emerged that Chinese damas have turned to bitcoin investing. A report on official Chinese news website China.org in November 2013 said that a large number of the VIP customers of Chinese bitcoin exchanges were in fact damas.

“Even though I don’t understand, I am investing with all the other people here, and there are people focusing on this, so if I lose, everybody else loses too, so there is nothing to be worried about,” a dama from Wenzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province was quoted as saying in an article on Sohu.com.

Although we have no hard statistics on exactly how much Chinese damas have invested in the Blockchain space, some are arguing that this group of people could in fact be a driving force of new technologies.

“Some experts have said that the damas’ attendance at the World Blockchain Conference is a joke…But what you might not know is the truth is always in the hands of the minority. Even though these damas might be many people’s laughing stock, I believe they are the most vibrant part of the development of blockchain,” the article on ittime.com concluded.