A View of Top 36 Chinese Cryptocurrencies, 2019 the Coldest Year?

On August 9, Nervos, a public chain project developed by a Chinese technical team, announced that its token CKB will soon be launched and its mainnet was scheduled for the fourth quarter. Nervos is one of the only three Chinese public blockchain projects to launch its token in 2019.

Chinese public blockchains hereinafter refer to the public chain projects started by Chinese founders and developed in China, even though some of them have moved abroad since the ICO ban in September 2017 within the territory. While local regulators, investors and venture capitals have been paying particular attention to them.

After screening Chinese public chain projects based on their market cap and public attention, we sort out the top 36 projects, with the top ten being BNB, HT, TRX, OKB, NEO, ONT, BTG, VET, QTUM, IOST by market cap. BNB, HT, OKB – the tokens of top crypto exchange Binance, Huobi and OKEx – have accounted for almost 60% of the total market cap of the 36 Chinese cryptocurrencies.

Statistics show that NEO, formerly Antshares, is the earliest and oldest public chain within the country. Its token NEO was launched on June 1, 2014. As of August 9, the market cap of NEO in circulation has reached 5.81 billion yuan ($730 million), with a NEO trading around $11. According to CoinMarketCap, NEO is currently ranked 18th among thousands of cryptocurrencies listed.

After NEO, Factom, with the vision of ‘enabling a future where users are able to trust their documents, digital data, and all network connected “things” while allowing developers to create new, world-changing applications’, issued its token FCT in 2015. It is in the 132nd place on CMC. In the following years entering 2016, many Chinese public chains have been created.

In 2017, tokens of Chinese public chain projects entered an outbreak period, with a total of 16 tokens issued. Well-known public chains such as Qtum, Bytom, BinanceChain, Tron all issued their tokens in that year. The total market value of the 16 tokens issued in 2017 has stood at 51.9 billion yuan ($7.4 billion) at present.

Token launch means that the public chain can support the circulation of onchain assets, after the mainnet goes online, Dapps can be developed to carry out the technical implementation. The issuance of tokens before mainnet launch could help accumulate users and community support.

Following the token outbreak in 2017, 2018 became the year of mainnet launch for public chains. 13 projects including Tron, Bytom, Ontology released their mainnet in 2018, and 8 of them launched their mainnet in 2019.

The trend of a large number of projects launching mainnet in 2018 was seen as a landmark that public chain technology is coming to ground, but these projects have not fared so well in 2019. On one hand, there has been no significant progress in terms of real-world applications; On the other hand, the number of newly launched tokens have seen a decline to some extent in 2019, and the price of existing tokens have been falling with low liquidity. Dovey Wan, partner at a crypto investment fund Primitive Ventures, commented it on Weibo (Twitter equivalent in China),

“The public blockchain will finally face a reshuffle and few of them may survive. (It will follow) the steps that coin prices continue to fall, liquidity becomes lower, community faith collapse and then the team announces to give up.”

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