• NFT enthusiasts in China are treading lightly 
  • While China has banned crypto activities in the country, NFTs remain legal
  • Peter Thiel had likened ESG to the CCP

China has banned crypto mining, exchanges and transactions and while Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are legal, but the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wants more rigid restrictions on these "digital collectibles."

Economic Daily, the mouthpiece of the CCP, which rules the country, in a report, argued about treating digital collections as only "cultural and creative commodities traded online." Therefore, subjecting it to supervision under intellectual property and market supervision departments is not enough.

The report described NFT as a financial technology product; hence, it should be regulated under strict supervision. It also said that digital collections feature commodity, currency and securities attributes, which is why establishing a joint supervision mechanism is necessary.

The event was a chance for the CCP to display its achievements since its founding in secret in July 1921 in Shanghai
The event was a chance for the CCP to display its achievements since its founding in secret in July 1921 in Shanghai AFP / WANG Zhao

It cited reports about the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigating the use of NFTs for illegal fundraising and as a money-laundering tool. The CCP mouthpiece suggested several measures to prevent these.

It mentioned the launch of a "regulatory sandbox," various platforms communicating closely with regulatory agencies, and a series of trial operations in a limited scope and period as some of the possible measures.

The report noted that many companies in China, including startups and tech giants, have built NFT platforms to attract museums, artists and individual creators, with some known brands already exploring and releasing digital collectibles. It pointed out that the risk is high for consumers because of the high-risk speculation and weak price system of the NFT.

The new report surfaced on a heels of a series of NFT launch announcements by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's Industrial Culture Development Center and Chinese broadcaster Shandong Television.

The provincial broadcaster’s foray into the world of digital collectibles includes building its own blockchain infrastructure to support Non-Fungible Tokens and developing several Metavere products. Meanwhile, the Industrial Culture Development Center said it would mint and sell a batch of Non-Fungible Tokens in 2022 to spread the country's industrial culture and eventually build an industrial Metaverse service platform.

At this year's Bitcoin Conference held in Miami, the German-American billionaire entrepreneur and political activist Peter Thiel, who co-founded the online payment financial company Paypal, likened ESG to the Chinese Communist Party. ESG, or Environmental, Social, and Governance, is being applied increasingly by investors in their analysis to identify material risks and growth opportunities.

"I think that ESG is a hate factory, it's a factory for naming enemies," Thiel added. "What's the difference between ESG and the CCP," Thiel said in his keynote. Overall, his message underlines that ESG is the primary weapon against Bitcoin.