Chinese tech firms to ban NFTs, cryptocurrency marketplaces


The new initiative called on tech firms not to “set up a centralised marketplace” for bidding, matching, or anonymous NFT trading…reports Asian Lite News

Chinese internet and tech giants on Monday signed an initiative to ban cryptocurrency and digital collectibles (NFTs), along with a promise not to establish secondary marketplaces.

According to the South China Morning Post, Tencent and Ant Group joined a self-driven industry initiative to ban cryptocurrency and fight speculation.

Platforms that sell digital collectibles “shall require real-name authentication of those who issue, sell and buy” the assets and “only support legal tender as the denomination and settlement currency”, according to the document signed by China’s biggest tech firms.

“Do not contain financial assets or unlicensed financial products, including securities, insurance, credit and precious metals, in blockchain-supported goods,” it added.

In April this year, the National Internet Finance Association of China, the China Banking Association, and the Securities Association of China issued a joint statement to prohibit the use of NFTs in the issuance of financial assets.

The new initiative called on tech firms not to “set up a centralised marketplace” for bidding, matching, or anonymous NFT trading.

The Chinese government banned Bitcoin mining in July last year.

It has plans to launch its central bank digital currency (CBDC) called the digital Chinese yuan (e-CNY).

The country banned all cryptocurrency transactions last September and barred foreign crypto exchanges from operating within the country in 2018.

Massive data breach

In what could be the biggest-ever data breach, sensitive personal information about more than a billion people has been leaked from a government agency, possibly from China, and put up for sale on Dark Web for 10 Bitcoins.

Changpeng Zhao, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, tweeted that their threat intelligence detected 1 billion resident records for sale on the Dark Web.

“It includes name, address, national ID, mobile, police and medical records from one Asian country. Likely due to a bug in an ElasticSearch deployment by a government agency,” Zhao claimed in his tweet late on Monday.

“This has an impact on hacker detection/prevention measures, mobile numbers used for account takeovers, etc. It is important for all platforms to enhance their security measures in this area,” he further posted.

Binance has already stepped up verifications for users potentially affected, Zhao said.

Media reports claimed that this leaked data may belong to Chinese citizens as a user on an underground hacking forum claimed to be selling a 23TB database for 10 Bitcoins of billions of Chinese citizens.

The information may have been leaked from the Shanghai National Police (SHGA) database, although the Chinese government was yet to react to this.

“In 2022, the Shanghai National Police (SHGA) database was leaked. This database contains many TB of data and information on Billions of Chinese citizens,” the post by the user named ‘ChinaDan’ said that also went viral on Telegram.

“Databases contain information on 1 billion Chinese national residents and several billion case records, including: name, address, birthplace, national ID number, mobile number, all crime/case details,” the post added.

The data breach was also referenced by rights activist Fu Xianyi on Twitter, who said the leak was from the “Shanghai public security database”, reports RFA.

“Most likely it was leaked from Alibaba Cloud,” the report mentioned.

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