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The Chinese government has announced plans to launch its own version of a state-backed non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, known as the China Digital Asset Trading Platform. The platform, set to go live on January 1, will be an official “secondary market for digital assets that comply with national regulations” and will be run by the state-run China Technology Exchange, the China Cultural Relics Exchange Center, and a private Beijing-based company.
However, unlike traditional NFT marketplaces, the China Digital Asset Trading Platform will not use blockchain technology and will instead use fiat currency, rather than crypto. This move is in line with the Chinese government’s efforts to sideline all cryptoassets, while still cherry-picking technological advances associated with the crypto and blockchain space, such as private blockchain networks and NFTs.
Private sector secondary markets for “digital collectibles” already exist in China, but use the fiat yuan and operate on centralized ledgers, rather than public blockchain. Major tech companies such as Alibaba and Tencent have also launched their own crypto-free NFT offerings, operating heavily regulated marketplaces.
The China Digital Asset Trading Platform will be tasked with “implementing” the Chinese government’s efforts to “digitize culture” and “develop cultural projects and industries through technical assistance and innovation.” It is worth noting that the Chinese government has effectively banned crypto trading, making traditional NFT trading almost impossible in the country. This new platform aims to provide a state-sanctioned avenue for the trade of digital assets.