Shanghai Man: CZ is wealthiest Chinese person with $90B, NFT yachts, and MonoX hacked

This weekly roundup of news from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong attempts to curate the industry’s most important news, including influential projects, changes in the regulatory landscape, and enterprise blockchain integrations.  

Top of the food chain

This probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone in the crypto industry, but Binance founder CZ has been crowned the richest Chinese person in the world. The list appeared in Caijing Magazine, a financial publication based in Beijing.

CZ was credited as having a net worth of around $90 billion, a huge jump over former richest Chinese man Zhong Shanshan, a bottled water mogul worth around $66 billion. CZ’s source of wealth was listed as Binance, a company that has not seen eye-to-eye with Chinese regulators, and is now often banned by internet search engines within the country. In fact, many average citizens in China have probably never heard of CZ prior to seeing this list. 

Interestingly, CZ’s location was listed as Singapore, making him the only person in the Top Five not based in China. Ironically, being on this list probably isn’t something to celebrate for the people in China as this year has seen a harsh crackdown on the super-wealthy.  

Who? Most Chinese citizens will be seeing CZ’s name for the first time. Source: Caijing Magazine

Rounding out the top five rich list included the founder of Bytedance and TikTok, an electric car battery maker, and Pony Ma, the founder of Tencent. The real question should be which other early crypto whales from China might be hovering on the fringes of this list, even if their wealth is not publicly known. 

Media company BlockBeats posted a photo of CZ from 4 years ago, as Binance was beginning to take shape. The photo from Shanghai showed a number of early team members posing in an office building hallway, long before the organization swelled to thousands of members and Binance became such a powerhouse in the Fintech space.

Also pictured was a young Vitalik Buterin, who was singing Chinese karaoke songs while raising investment for Ethereum. These pictures are proof that four years in crypto can be very rewarding, but also can age a person tremendously.

Future of SocialFi is English only

Monaco was the headline-grabbing project of the week, with the decentralized social network teasing users with the hint of a lucrative airdrop. Inviting users, gaining followers, and getting likes were ways for users to increase their allocation in the airdrop, along with ownership of cartoon yacht NFTs from Opensea. This naturally caused a flurry of users signing up and sharing their invite codes throughout Chinese crypto channels on social media. 

After signing up, pornographic and sexually explicit content became an easy way for users to farm follows and likes, causing one user to point out that instead of SocialFi the platform should be categorized as PornFi. The big twist was when Monaco announced on Twitter that only English content would be counted towards content mining:

“Please be aware only English content will be counted as content mining, and content quality is a key aspect for content mining measurement as well. Spamming and advertising follows without any organic creation WILL NOT be counted into content mining”

This received over 500 comments on Twitter, with many Chinese users reacting angrily. Another twist was soon revealed as a user pointed out that the codebase returned error messages in Chinese. A Whois database search even revealed that the company had been registered in Beijing, further amusing users, or in some cases, infuriating them. 

Yacht parties galore: Monaco users get to show off their colorful NFTs on social media. Source: Opensea

Despite the early PR difficulties, Monaco is shaping up to be an interesting player in the SocialFi scene. Backed by the famously shrewed Three Arrows Capital, the social media network allow users to sign up and show off their NFT collection just by using a MetaMask wallet. With the amount of publicity Metaverse and SocialFi applications are getting around the world, Monaco might be able to leverage clever tokenomics and a smooth user experience to carve out an active user base.

Headlines from Huobi 

On November 30, Huobi founder Du Jun told Bloomberg that Huobi Group has chosen Singapore as its regional headquarters. After leaving China, it’s been a bumpy road for the storied exchange. On November 25, Huobi launched MonoX Finance’s MONO token on Huobi Primelist, a launchpad for new tokens. Five days later, the MonoX smart contract platform was hacked for $31 million dollars worth of ETH and other tokens. Needless to say, new MONO buyers on Huobi wont be happy to see the token price lose over 30% in the first week of existence. 


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Spider-Man NFTs Drove The Second-Biggest One-Day Ticket Sales in AMC’s History, Says CEO

AMC Theatres – the largest movie theatre chain in the US – recently offered 86,000 non-fungible tokens to early buyers of the latest Spider-Man film. The enthusiasm among fans was quite high as it led to the second-highest one-day ticket sales in AMC’s entire history.

AMC’s NFT Offer

At the start of this week, the movie theatre chain partnered with Sony Pictures to provide 86,000 NFTs to reward members and retail investors who pre-order tickets for the December 16 premiere of “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

AMC Theatres released the non-fungible tokens in 100 different designs as the owners will receive information on how to retrieve their collectibles on December 22. The company specified that the NFTs must be redeemed by the beginning of March next year.

Moreover, AMC asserted that the digital collections are “eco-friendly” because they are built on the WAX blockchain:

“The Spider-Man NFT will be available to be redeemed at a dedicated site operated by WAX, and energy-efficient, ultra-low carbon footprint blockchain and the first certified carbon neutral.”

Adam Aron – the man in charge of AMC – predicted that the digital collectibles will “go quick.”


And He Was Right

A few days after the start of the promotion, Aron tweeted that all 86,000 NFTs were “fully committed by Monday afternoon.” Furthermore, the CEO admitted that the offering created a rush for buying tickets for the blockbuster premiere. It drove the second-biggest one-day move ticket sales in AMC’s history. The record still belongs to “Avengers: Endgame” in 2019, surpassing “Spider-Man: No Way Home” by only 1.5%.

Apart from its dive into the NFT universe, AMC Theatres is a keen advocate of private cryptocurrencies. As such, this summer, it accepted bitcoin for online tickets and concession payments.

A few weeks later, it doubled down on its digital asset efforts and added Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Shortly after, the movie theater chain dabbled with the popular memecoin Dogecoin and carried out a poll to determine whether the firm should accept the self-proclaimed DOGE killer – Shiba Inu.

The results were in favor of SHIB, and Aron announced that the adoption will see the light of day at the beginning of 2022.


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Increased utility in DeFi, NFTs back Ethereum’s 3-year high in its ETH/BTC pair

This week, Ether (ETH) price reached a new 2021 high against Bitcoin (BTC), bringing its year-to-date returns slightly above 350% and according to technical analysis, the rally could extend even further.

On Dec. 1, bids for the ETH/BTC pair hit 0.0835 BTC on Coinbase for the first time this year. The upside move came as a part of an uptrend that started mid-October after Ether bottomed out against Bitcoin at 0.0630 BTC to carve out almost 41% price retracement.

ETH/BTC daily price chart. Source: TradingView

Growing adoption propels Ether’s boom

The ETH/BTC price rally reflect deep interest in Ethereum, which is currently the world’s leading smart contract platform by users and market capitalization. This is slightly different than the scenario for Bitcoin, which typically functions as a speculative hedge against inflation across global economies.

As of late, Ethereum has been become a core asset within crypto growth sectors like nonfungible tokens (NFT), decentralized finance (DeFi) and the Metaverse. The firms operating in this space require Ether to run their smart contracts, which in turn, has increased demand for the altcoin and supported a steady uptrend in its price.

Total valued locked inside ETH-based DeFi platforms (including staking). Source: Defi Llama

Demand for Eth is expected to remain robust in the coming year and this simple fact has many analysts projecting prices within the $6,000 to $10,000 range. 

ETH/USD daily price chart. Source: TradingView

Matt Maley, the chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co., anticipated additional gains for Ether should it break above its mid-November high around $4,900. According to Maley, Bitcoin bulls remain under pressure near the cryptocurrency’s mid-November and mid-April highs of $69,000 to $65,000.

If Ether manages to hit and hold a new all-time high while BTC trades in a downtrend, Maley said:

“It will show that Ether has become the new crypto of choice for most investors.”

The technical outlook for Ether against Bitcoin has also been suggesting stronger bull runs for the former in the future.

Related: Ethereum approaches a new ATH, but derivatives data reflects mixed emotions

A prolonged bullish breakout could be in play

The latest bout of buying has had ETH/BTC break above a multi-month resistance trendline that constitutes an ascending triangle pattern and now the pair eyes an extended bull run towards 0.1 BTC, as shown in the chart below.

ETH/BTC weekly price chart featuring Ascending Triangle setup. Source: TradingView

Typically, ascending triangles are continuation patterns, meaning, they tend to send the price in the direction of its previous trend by as much as the maximum height between the upper and lower trendline when measured from the breakout point.

ETH/BTC’s breakout point comes out to be near 0.077 BTC while its triangle’s maximum height is 0.022 BTC. In a “perfect” world, this would place the ETH/BTC pair on path to 0.1 BTC, but given the volatile nature of the cryptocurrency sector, anything is possible. 

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.