Friday, January 28

China embraces NFTs amid Bitcoin crackdown

Key facts:
  • China has decided to support technologies that operate on blockchains, such as non-fungible tokens.

  • The bans in China did not reach the NFTs, but they were in a gray area.

The official Chinese news agency Xinhua announced on Wednesday, December 22, that it will issue a collection of digital photographs in non-fungible token (NFT) format. The information was released by the news agency itself, and replicated by international media such as Reuter.

The ad has been interpreted as a accolade from the government of China to specific uses of blockchains in the Asian country, after the total ban on activities related to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies last September.

NFT’s collection will be based on a selection of digital photographic reports that reflect historical moments of 2021. According to the NFT itself agency Xinhua, are adopting “blockchain technology” so that each image has “unique identifying and proprietary information on the blockchain.”

This first «Digital News Collection» will be released on December 24, It will consist of 11 photos with “special commemorative significance and collectible value,” Xinhua said. The assets will be issued free of charge in a limited edition of 10,000 copies. Although, they will release some unique NFTs as well.

The ad also shows that the NFTs will be part of a “metaverse”, although it does not offer details about it. It should be noted that cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are a fundamental part of the economy of the so-called metaverses.

From uncertainty to support for NFTs

As reported by CriptoNoticias in October, the NFTs were not outlawed in China as part of the crackdown on the cryptocurrency market and the ban on bitcoin mining in that country. However, there was no direct pronouncement on the issue, which allowed the launch of free collectibles to companies such as McDonald’s.

The official news agency of the Chinese government, Xinhua, will tokenize in NFT format 11 historical moments from 2021 recorded in its photographic reports. Source: bbbar /

In this context, some companies decided to change the name of the NFTs to “digital collectibles”, to avoid that the use of the word “token” linked them to prohibited activities. AntChain and Tencent were among the companies that took this route.

Reuter noted that China’s official endorsement of NFTs represents a novelty, since People’s Daily, official media of the Chinese Communist Party, pointed to non-fungible tokens “as a possible fraud” less than a month ago. He also reported that another official Chinese media outlet called Securities recently said that metaverses are “a grandiose and illusory concept.”

China recently reiterated its policy of ‘zero tolerance »with those who challenge the bans on the cryptocurrency industry, especially those who persist in clandestinely carrying out mining activity, according to CriptoNoticias reported.