UNI Token Rises 20% as China’s Blanket Ban on Crypto Businesses Puts Focus on Decentralized Exchanges

Investors turn away from centralized exchanges in the wake of China’s blanket ban on virtual currency businesses.

AccessTimeIconSep 26, 2021 at 7:25 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:28 p.m. UTC

Crypto investors seem to be betting that China’s latest blanket ban on virtual currency businesses will be a blessing in disguise for decentralized exchanges (DEX) facilitating direct peer-to-peer transactions without an intermediary.

That’s evident from the weekend’s market action. CoinDesk 20 data shows native tokens of major decentralized exchanges like Uniswap and SushiSwap have gained 22% and 18%, respectively, in the past 24 hours, leading bitcoin higher by a significant margin; meanwhile, centralized exchanges’ tokens are flashing red.

“The great rotation into everything decentralized is upon us and all thanks to the latest and undoubtedly most aggressive crypto ban by China,” Denis Vinokourov, head of research at Synergia Capital, told CoinDesk in a Telegram chat.

“Decentralized autonomous organization Maker’s DAI stablecoin will likely gain substantial market share versus tether as a result,” Vinokourov added, sharing a bullish outlook on underlying layer 1 and 2 programs supporting decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens, especially marketplaces.

On Friday, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) declared all virtual currency-related activities illegal, banning offshore exchanges from serving mainland Chinese users. The statement also disqualified tether, the largest stablecoin globally, as legal tender along with bitcoin and ether, marking toughest crackdown to date.

Huobi has already taken steps to comply with new regulations, suspending new user signups from China. Reportedly Binance has taken similar actions.

Huobi said early today that it would gradually close accounts of existing China-based users by the end of the year. The Huobi token has dropped 17% in the past 24 hours to trade near $7.43. The cryptocurrency hit eight-month lows near $6 a few hours ago.

While UNI is leading the market higher, the token is still stuck in a four-week falling channel. A breakout might bring stronger chart-driven buying pressure.

UNI awaits breakout
UNI awaits breakout (TradingView)


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Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.

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