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Chinese Authorities, Firms Make Blockchain & Crypto Moves

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A district of Shanghai says it is ready to embrace blockchain technology – but will adhere to the government’s cryptocurrency ban.

Shanghai. Source: iStock/xijian

Per a report in Chinese media outlet Eastday, Yangpu District, in the northeastern part of downtown Shanghai, is planning to nurture some 1,000 blockchain technology professionals, foster 100 blockchain startups and provide incubation facilities for 10 promising potential “unicorn” startups.

The move is the first blockchain incentive to be embarked upon by a single Shanghai district, rather than the greater city authorities.

Yangpu authorities were careful to stress that the new blockchain push would not stop them from “resolutely curbing illegal financial activities such as cryptocurrency trading and token financing” – in line with Beijing’s crackdown on crypto-related activities.

Earlier this week, Shanghai welcomed a group of Australian blockchain startups visiting on a trade mission co-organized by Austrade and the Australian Digital Commerce Association. Per Australian media outlet Financial Review, the group’s activities in the city involved paying a visit to the headquarters of fintech giant Ant Financial.

Meanwhile, a Nevada-based company with links to China has unveiled an ambitious plan to turn a United States Defense Department data center into a vast cryptocurrency mine.

Per a company statement, Wuhan General Group (China), says it is “negotiating a redesign” for the 51,000 sqm data center, although it has not revealed whereabouts in American the building is located.

The company says the facility already “has over 3MW of power ready to accommodate up to 1,300 mining machines for Bitcoin, Zcash and other cryptocurrencies.” However, Wuhan says it hopes to deploy a further 12,000 rigs and hike the power capacity up to a 30MW by next year.

Although negotiations appear to be ongoing, Wuhan says its first order of rigs from ASICminer will “arrive in late October,” with more to follow “in the coming months.” Wuhan says the facility will bring in an initial monthly revenue “in excess of USD 3.5 million” once it is operational.

The company, which has bases in Nevada and the Chinese city of Hubei, made a name for itself producing industrial blowers and power generation equipment and batteries. However, earlier this month, it announced it was spinning off its battery business, and said it will now “focus its operations on large-scale mining cryptocurrency farms.”