In China, Two Cities Mirror Blockchain-Bitcoin Divide

Beijing and Shanghai, China’s two most populous and developed cities, are often reminiscent of two siblings. They are similar, but each has its own distinct character.
In this light, some rivalry is as inevitable, and it’s now spilling over into the country’s blockchain industry.
In Beijing, visitors are likely to meet “bitcoin maximalists”, those who shrug at the idea an alternative blockchain or bank consortium could challenge the network effect of a $10bn digital economy. In Shanghai, the difference of attitude is pronounced – there, you are more likely to be told that bitcoin is pass.
Metaverse, a company based in the Shanghai’s Huangpu district, is in many ways representative of the city’s new blockchain startups.
Relatively unknown even in its home country, Metaverse has over 20 employees – no small feat for a blockchain startup that has been around for less than a year, and it recently held a blockchain token crowdsale, raising over 10m within weeks.
The sight of a roomful of busy developers gives the impression the startup is onto something big – which is exactly what Eric Gu, CEO and co-founder, wanted to convey in interview. But he is also candid about his personal transition and what it says about the state of the blockchain industry.
Gu told CoinDesk:

This post was published at Coin Desk on October 16, 2016.

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