Chinese Beauty App Meitu Invests $40M In Bitcoin And Ethereum

Many experts believe that institutional investment is and will be the biggest driving force for the crypto market. However, the latest company to follow in the footsteps of industry giants such as Tesla, MicroStrategy, and Square doesn’t come from the U.S., but rather from China.

Meitu Inc., a Hong Kong-listed company behind a popular image and video processing app, has become the latest company to join the cohort of major tech players investing large portions of their cash reserves into digital assets. According to the company’s own announcement, its investment in cryptocurrencies comes as a way to seek alternative growth, given the fact that its main product, a photo editor app, has been struggling to hold its market lead. In the announcement, published on Sunday, March 7th, Meitu purchased 15,000 ETH and 379.1214267 BTC, worth around $22.1 million and $17.9 million, respectively.

The purchase was made in open market transactions, unlike other major corporate crypto investments, which were mostly made in OTC trades. Meitu said that the $40 million purchase is just the first tranche of its investment plan—the company plans on spending up to $100 million of its cash reserves on purchasing various cryptocurrencies.

And while the purchase comes as a surprise for the relatively low-key company, Meitu’s chairman has long been an outspoken supporter of blockchain technology. Back in 2018, Cai Wensheng revealed that he personally bought around 10,000 BTC. China has since banned both initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency trading, but Cai remained a vocal proponent of both the new asset class and its underlying technology.

In its announcement, Meitu’s board of directors explained that its Bitcoin investment is part of its “asset allocation plan.” The company’s Ethereum purchase, on the other hand, is set to help fuel its future blockchain endeavors. Meitu is reportedly considering applying blockchain technology to various aspects of its business, with Tech Crunch reporting that the company is considering launching decentralized applications (dApps) on Ethereum.

“The Board takes the view that blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt both existing financial and technology industries, similar to the manner in which mobile internet has disrupted the PC internet and many other offline industries,” the company said in the release. “The Board believes that the blockchain industry is still in its early stage, analogous to the mobile internet industry in circa 2005.”

Meitu’s board of directors revealed that the company is currently looking to invest in various other overseas blockchain projects that could benefit its growing user base. According to data from June 2020, the company had almost 300 million users across its suite of apps launched in various countries.

Aside from providing the company with technical advancement, cryptocurrencies also have “ample room” for appreciation in value, Meitu’s board of directors said. Allocating a portion of its treasury to top-performing cryptocurrencies will enable the company to diversify its treasury management and reduce its cash holdings.

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