A now-viral post from a Chinese cryptocurrency trader has highlighted the sharp drop in the price of sneaker-backed US tokens following the NBA-China fallout.
As Reuters reported on October 16, the anonymous trader’s Weibo post earlier this month highlighted an apparent 10% drop in the price of crypto tokens backed by Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers on a US-based exchange.
“It’s clear that the sneaker speculators were taking money out of the market,” the trader told Reuters.
He interpreted the market response against the backdrop of Chinese netizens’ anger over a now-notorious tweet from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in which he declared solidarity with anti-government and anti-Beijing protesters in Hong Kong. .
The NBA’s $4 billion Chinese market
As the report notes, Morey – who quickly deleted the controversial tweet – has been accused of endorsing violence and touting a “secessionist pipe dream” by Chinese state media.
Reuters calculated that the price of tokens backed by the Air Jordan 1 Retro High Satin Black Toe sneakers – the latest in a line of exclusive and iconic sneakers worn by NBA stars – had fallen 34% since the incident. Morey.
The Reuters analysis is based on data from global digital asset exchange 55.com, which the report says is used by Chinese traders who, while banned from trading on national platforms, trade their yuan against Tether (USDT) via Alipay or WeChat to buy tokens.
George Gao – apparently as an influencer for the sneaker brand in China with more than 38,000 YouTube subscribers – told Reuters the anger of basketball fans in mainland China over the Morey controversy had been unprecedented. .
The Chinese NBA market is estimated at more than $4 billion.
“Political factors affect my choice,” Chen Luwei, a Chinese sneaker fan studying in Australia, told reporters.
Hong Kong protesters have rallied in support of Daryl Morey, according to a update October 16 from the Hong Kong Free Press.
Cryptocurrencies and the protest movement
As reported this summer, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy and anti-government protest movement is said to have spurred wider adoption of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), with some retailers in the city moving to introduce support for cryptocurrency payments.
Bitcoin trading volumes in Hong Kong soared in June amid the turmoil. At press time, the coin is trading at a premium of around one hundred dollars on peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins.
Co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital Antoine Pompliano proposed that following the sweeping response to Hong Kongers’ protests on the anniversary of the Chinese state – Bitcoin’s elusiveness has become “very attractive” to those whose civil liberties are under threat.