China Walks Back Hardline Media Rhetoric Toward Crypto and Blockchain by Shiraz Jagati (Source: Cointelegraph)

Shiraz Jagati, contributing writer for Cointelegraph, has included BlockchainBTM’s CTO Andre Szykier’s comments. Read  below or go to this link .

Earlier this week, a story published by Chinese state-run media outlet Xinhua featured some pro-Bitcoin comments that referred to the flagship digital currency as being the world’s “first successful application of blockchain technology.”

This latest endorsement comes against the backdrop of China’s stringent anti-cryptostance, wherein the country’s lawmakers implemented a blanket ban on its local cryptocurrency exchanges as well as initial coin offerings back in 2017.

The aforementioned Xinhua article takes a balanced approach toward crypto tech, outlining the history of Bitcoin’s development and its overall evolution. It starts off by asking readers the question “Does BTC present the global finance industry with an inevitable trend as far as future currency development goes or is the digital asset just another ‘tulip’ hype?” 

The piece then proceeds to describe the core tenets of blockchain and how such a decentralized, immutable and trustless technology can be used to facilitate value transfers in a completely peer-to-peer manner. Additionally, it also covers other relevant aspects related to crypto such as mining, digital scarcity and pseudonymity.

The global crypto community weighs in

However, similar to most Western media coverage of cryptocurrencies, the piece then starts to devolve into a sweeping tirade of how Bitcoin is mostly being used by criminals and other nefarious individuals to facilitate black market and darknet transactions — a notion that has been debunked several times over in the past. Not only that, but Xinhua’s writing staff also goes on to highlight the volatility of Bitcoin, citing its lack of central backing as being one of its core weaknesses.

To better assess the implications of China’s apparent change of heart toward blockchain tech and Bitcoin, Cointelegraph reached out to Matvey Voytov, the chief marketing officer of Waves Enterprise, a private blockchain solution designed to compete with existing DLT platforms. He believes that China is likely to become the most active blockchain market in the world, as it looks to spend $2 billion on projects by 2023. Voytov further added:

“You can’t ignore Bitcoin as being the most successful case of a value transfer system built on blockchain as well as the fact that Chinese investors control a significant part of today’s global bitcoin operations. Still, it doesn’t mean that in the near future China will change its stance on the trading of cryptocurrencies that are not under their control.”

Similarly, Peter Somerville, head of node and developer relations for blockchain platform Elixxir, told Cointelegraph that he too is quite optimistic about the future of crypto and blockchain in China. He pointed out that owing to the country’s massive 1.4 billion strong population, there will always be a huge appetite for real-world crypto and blockchain use cases in the region. 

Additionally, he believes that since the Chinese tech community has played a meaningful role in the development of the industry from its very inception, the local market will soon change its mode of operation from a phase of hype and speculation to laying greater emphasis on projects that seek to innovate and build platforms in order to promote general adoption of these technologies.

Lastly, Andre Szykier, the chief technology officer Bitcoin ATM operator BlockchainBTM, told Cointelegraph that with China is seemingly committed to creating a gold-backed security token offering with a stated reserve of 13,000 tons — similar to what Russia has proposed for the ruble. 

On the topic of Chinese-owned media outlets appearing to tone down their erstwhile stringent opposition to things like Bitcoin mining and speculative cryptocurrency trading, Szykier made an observation that gambling is a fundamental characteristic of social behavior in China, adding that, “Since the government has gone forward in creating a ‘social score’ to reward or punish behavior in the country, cryptocurrency speculation falls into this area.” Szykier concluded:

“By controlling the buy/sell activity they can identify and control participants. How this affects the top tier individuals with very large wealth is TBD. The future of retail commerce in China is heavily mobile with ease of interchange between various payment systems highly advanced. By making paper/coin payments a smaller part of retailing, the government can monitor their citizens more closely and perhaps impact their social score.”

Has local sentiment toward crypto changed in China? Read further into the article by going to CoinTelegraph.

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