Chinese CBDC is actively tested while the US is preparing to reopen businesses. Oil price and traditional markets are still in the downturn. The week of April 13-19 recap in the BTCMEX Blog. 

Chinese GDP dropped for the first time since 1992

China’s first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 6.8%, marking the first decline since the country started publishing its data in 1992.

Despite the suffering economy, China has created first provincial-level Blockchain Innovation Alliance on April 14. The project aims to build an open platform for blockchain communication, cooperation, innovation, and application among joint enterprises. More than 100 members including Inspur, Tsinghua Unigroup, Huawei, IBM, Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu have entered the alliance. During the opening, the Alliance also announced its official launch of a public service blockchain platform, “Yu Express Chain”.

The country is actively testing its central bank digital currency (CBDC). Four cities – Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Xiongan – were selected to conduct first implementations. The first screenshots of wallet apps developed to support digital yuan were published on social media throughout the week.

Moreover, on April 16, reporters for ChinSci-Tech revealed that CBDC is being tested as part of the transportation reimbursement for government and enterprise workers in Suzhou.

The largest Bitcoin transaction

The largest Bitcoin transaction in terms of the US dollar amount was made on April 10, 2020. 161,500 Bitcoin (BTC) –  the equivalent of $1.1 billion dollars –  were transferred for a fee of only 0.00010019 BTC or approximately $0.68. Of that amount, 15,000 BTC was sent to a wallet, while the remainder – 146,500 BTC – was returned to the original address.

The CTO of crypto exchange Bitfinex, Paolo Ardoino, admitted on Twitter that they refilled the hot wallet. This transaction beats the previous record of 94,504 BTC moved in September 2019.

Bitcoin gets ready for the halving

Google reported that the search volume for “Bitcoin halving” reached its all-time-high on April 14. The interest has grown 16% in comparison with the rate witnessed before the last halving in 2016, according to the Google Trends data. Halving usually drives the interest with crypto enthusiasts from all over the world are searching for price predictions, Bitcoin mining details, and crypto gatherings to celebrate the event.

Bitcoin is currently trading at above $7,000, reached highs of $7,195 on Thursday, April 16. The hash rate bounced back, according to the blockchain data. The mining difficulty surged after the downtrend of the last two weeks.

G-20: tips on stablecoins

The study on stablecoins issued by the G-20’s Financial Stability Board on April 14 expressed concerns. Once again regulators pointed out that stablecoins can pose risks to financial stability. The study also presented 10 recommendations for effective regulations, such as strict Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing controls.

G-20 members are particularly unfriendly towards Facebook’s Libra project that has the potential to ignite and spread the immediate cryptocurrency adoption all over the world.