Bitcoin News: China Warming to Crypto; Bans No Longer Enforced

  • Bank of China recently published an infographic that demonstrates the history of bitcoin and its various good and bad sides
  • Reports from all over the country show that regulators have loosened oversight on crypto-related activities which were largely banned since 2017

China has had a strenuous relationship with Bitcoin so far. It has been among the countries that have been stern about cryptocurrencies ever since the ban on crypto-related activities since 2017.  The local press had reported in September 2017 that the country had officially banned cryptocurrency trading, which resulted in various crypto-based businesses like Huobi, OKCoin, and BTC China shutting down their shops in the country. This, in turn, stripped china of its position as the global leader in crypto development. However, there have been some recent developments which could make one believe that china’s opposition to cryptocurrencies might be dwindling.

Bank of China shares Bitcoin infographic

The state-owned Bank of China, one of the four biggest state-owned commercial banks in the nation has recently published an infographic related to Bitcoin on its website on July 26. The infographic demonstrates illustrations of the entire story of Bitcoin so far, starting from the publication of its whitepaper in 2008 to mining the first 50 BTC in 2009, the 10,000 BTC that was spent on pizza in 2010, up until the announcement of Facebook’s Libra. 

Apart from these, the demonstration does a great job explaining why the value of Bitcoin is increasing, while talking about factors like limited supply and increasing mining difficulty. The decentralized nature of Bitcoin, its cross-border functionality and it is a safe haven due to its anti-inflation nature were also some key pointers in the illustration. This, however, didn’t end it, the infographic demonstrates the various risks around cryptocurrencies as well. Some of these include the infamous Mt. Gox hack and various stories of funds that were lost forever. The main use case of Bitcoin according to the infographic is its low fees compared to the traditional international settlement systems.

This release can overall be considered as a positive take on Bitcoin as a potential store of value. Coming from a major state-owned bank, this is great news for the crypto-situation in China right now. 

Growing positive sentiment surrounding the Chinese crypto industry

There have also been several reports that hint towards mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies in the provinces of china. Wall-mart China has recently joined forces with VeChain, a distributed ledger technology project, to launch Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform.  China’s Hangzhou internet court, earlier this month, has found bitcoin to be a commodity as it carries value, is scarce and can be used as a means of transferring value even though it does “not have the legality of an official currency.”

Reports from local media outlet South china morning post state that China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, is possibly working to develop a state cryptocurrency. According to wang Xin, director of the People’s Bank of China, Facebook’s cryptocurrency (Libra) could have a major impact on monetary policies and financial stability. This has forced China’s central bank to step up and research on developing its own cryptocurrency. Ren Zhengfei, the chief executive of Chinese phone maker Huawei, voiced in support of this event and called for the country to issue a competitor to Facebook’s Libra. This shows that the demand for cryptocurrencies is also building in the private sector.