China is banning cryptocurrencies, but it doesn’t plan to ignore the associated technologies. Indeed, the government wants to offer a closed marketplace for non-fungible token (NFT) assets.
Chinese state to offer closed NFT market
As reported by the local media South China Morning Post, this new NFT service will be built on the Blockchain Services Network (BSN), the Chinese state network. It is expected to be offered from the end of January.
The NFT proposed on the BSN will not be compatible with the “real” NFT existing on the Ethereum (ETH) or Solana (SOL) blockchains for example. It is indeed a closed market, as China has recently hardened its tone against cryptocurrencies.
The official position of the Chinese state is that NFTs do not pose any legal problems in China, as long as they are not linked to crypto-currencies. As a result, only the yuan (digital or not) will be accepted for purchases and sales of these non-fungible tokens.
China’s balancing act
The Chinese government expects the NFT market to be worth billions of dollars in the future. It’s a balancing act the government has been playing for several years, trying to capitalize on blockchain-derived technologies… While firmly prohibiting their use by its population.
Public blockchains are now considered illegal in China, and the country has banned all Bitcoin mining since last summer. NFTs are not technically illegal, but the publication notes that they tend to be referred to as “digital collectibles” to avoid being associated with cryptocurrencies.
The Chinese state expects its NFT market to be used mostly for certificates and documents, such as diplomas or the equivalent of car registration cards. What is certain, however, is that neither Bored Ape nor Cryptopunk will be seen on the platform…