• Despite the crypto crackdown, NFTs are still popular in China

  • In July, I proposed that cryptocurrency is undergoing de-Chinalization, a period in which China’s anti-crypto regulation would force miners and centralized exchanges to flee, while the rest of the projects would go underground.

    That did happen, as we’ve seen almost all miners flee China in search of electricity all over the world.

    But I had underestimated the NFT’s tenacity.

    My crypto WeChat was suddenly flooded with Punk fanboys, Ape guardians, and Loot revolutionaries. So, let’s decipher the China NFT scene a little, and start by distinguishing between the two types of NFTs we’re seeing in China.

    Web 2.0 NFTs are JPEGs created by Chinese internet behemoths like Alibaba and Tencent. These JPEGs are as follows:

    reasonably priced have no real crypto component (exchanged in RMB and live on a centralized ledger) secondary market not tradable have distinct cultural elements from China (e.g. slangs, internet phenomena)

    Many Chinese cultural elements can be found in Kungfu Hero NFT.

    Web 3.0 NFTs are similar to the crypto NFTs that most people are familiar with today, but there are some distinctions. NFTs on the Chinese Web 3.0:

    contain elements of Chinese culture Rivermen and Kungfu Hero are two examples of collections. (The term “Rivermen” is derived from China’s longest painting, “Along the River During the Qingming Festival,” which is considered a national treasure.) As many of them are launched on Binance Smart Chain, they are multi-chained. gamified: Following in the footsteps of Pop Mart’s “blind boxes,” many NFTs are not selling JPEGs but rather a surprise experience—you never know what you’ll get.

    Here are two enticing Chinese NFT communities:


    Club721 is the newest NFT club on the block, a community of NFT collectors who share the most recent NFT news, analysis, and drops (and of course, a DAO is coming). The community has grown from a founding group of seven people to over 7,000 members. In retrospect, given the stage of the NFT cycle we’re in and the wealth it generates, its success was unavoidable. Everyone wants to know about the latest drop so they can buy and profit tenfold.

    And Club721 arrived at an opportune time, when there is a lot of information fragmentation and asymmetry for Chinese audiences looking to delve into the newest collection. It reminds me a little of the early DeFi summer days, when communities formed quickly around thought leaders who aggregate global information.

    Club721 intends to evolve into a gated NFT community similar to Friends With Benefits or PleasrDAO in the future, which means that only members who hold community tokens or NFTs will be able to participate.


    MAODAO is unquestionably China’s largest space for NFT contributors, advocates, and thought leaders. MAODAO is distinguished from other JPEG speculator groups by its RPC (Ready Player Cat) series and sheer dedication to the play-to-earn space.

    In contrast to many NFT studios that abandon JPEGs, MAODAO continues to develop gaming and financial instruments; the metaverse is its ultimate goal. What most impresses me about MAODAO is how actively it promotes Chinese culture through NFTs (such as this Mooncake drop I received):

    NFT #1027 Mooncake This text-only NFT is a description of a mooncake, similar to Loot’s style.

    What is the future of NFTs in China?

    Web 2.0 NFTs will continue to evolve in a conforming manner. Chinese internet behemoths will create their own NFTs, but not on Ethereum, but on corporate networks such as Ant Group’s AntChain. Their NFTs will be supported by local celebrities and will most likely gain widespread acceptance.

    Meanwhile, Chinese gaming behemoths will quickly integrate NFTs into their existing gaming empires, establishing a metaverse that may be larger than the one promised by Facebook.

    However. China’s metaverse, like the internet, will be sanctioned and gated by the Great Wall. Crypto purists will be put off by this.

    Web 3.0 NFTs will face difficulties. They are more closely linked to the crypto ecosystem, and they deal with coins that worry the government. Currently, there is no clear regulation against NFTs, possibly due to their infancy. However, because most NFTs require crypto to be purchased, if the government continues to crack down on crypto onramps, web 3.0 NFTs will face challenges.

    Perhaps a more concerning effect of China’s crackdown on NFTs would be artist participation rather than consumer participation. After all, NFTs are a cultural phenomenon that is largely driven by art tastes, particularly the tastes of influencers. That is why more communities, such as Crypto Art Panda, are needed to cultivate and nurture domestic artists and creators. Without them, China will be a consumer rather than a creator in this revolution.

    What's your reaction?