Chinese President Xi Jinping’s announcement that the country would invest heavily in blockchain technology – coupled with a sweeping move to remove online posts suggesting such technology is a scam – has nourished optimism long-held by crypto advocates. Of course, the reality is that China’s marked shift towards pro-blockchain policies is part of a much wider trend which has seen Asian multinationals and governments embrace the considerable potential of distributed ledger technologies.
A Two-Year Turnaround
President Xi’s announcement centered on the creation of a state-backed digital currency (a stablecoin tied to the renminbi), an idea which has been gestating since the country’s central bank started exploring the possibility as far back as 2014. With the dawn of a new decade, a law will come into effect on January 1 with the aim of “facilitating the development of the cryptography business and ensuring the security of cyberspace and information.”
It is predicted that the currency in question will launch soon after, although perhaps the possibility of blockchain technologies powering the continued transformation of China’s vast industries is of greater significance. Xi specifically mentioned that the technology could