The front page of Xinhua, a news agency run by the Chinese government, contained an article entitled “Bitcoin: The First Successful Application of Blockchain Technology,” on November 11th.
While the article appears to be purely informational in nature, the prominent placement of a piece of writing that refers to Bitcoin as “the first successful application of blockchain technology” has caused some discussion as to whether China could be considering easing its legal restrictions on cryptocurrency.
The article focuses on education
The news was shared into western media spheres by Sino Global Capital CEO Matthew Graham on Twitter.
Chinese state newspaper today (Xinhua)
— Matthew Graham (@mattysino) November 11, 2019
The article explains the basics of how the Bitcoin network works, including basic instructions on how private keys can be used to send transactions, information on Bitcoin mining, and a section on Bitcoin’s volatile price fluctuations.
However, the article also claims that “currently, the most important uses of bitcoin payments are black market transactions and ‘dark net’ transactions.”
Indeed, Louis Curran, Managing Partner at JST Digital, wrote on Twitter that the article was “hardly a ringing endorsement for #bitcoin.”
hardly a ringing endorsement for #bitcoin? '' Bitcoin is not a tangible currency. It is produced and operated on the Internet '' .. ''The price of Bitcoin is subject to large fluctuations. Bitcoin is just a bunch of data'' thanks for highlighting pic.twitter.com/d9UN7dRfqS
— Louis Curran (@CurrencyWar1) November 11, 2019
China pushes into blockchain
The news of the article’s publication comes closely on the heels of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s highly publicized remarks on blockchain several weeks ago.
Indeed, in a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist party’s Central Committee, Jinping called for his country to adopt blockchain technology “as an important breakthrough for independent innovation of core technologies.”
At the time, Xinhua reported that Xi specifically called for the adoption of blockchain technology in “digital finance, Internet of Things, intelligent manufacturing, supply chain management, digital asset trading, and other fields.” (Translated quote.)
China’s central state planner has also recently come forth to remove Bitcoin mining from the list of industries that it is hoping to eliminate; the Chinese government has also banned anti-blockchain sentiment.
3/ Articles saying blockchain technology is a scam are now BANNED.
Who still remember the days when posts promoting blockchain getting deleted real fast? pic.twitter.com/W5iRJ3PDYS
— cnLedger (@cnLedger) October 28, 2019
Indeed, Business Korea reported on November 11th that “China is about to issue a digital version of the yuan based on blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies. Its five-year plan for fintech firm growth, which resulted in global fintech giants such as Alibaba and Tencent, comes to an end next year and the issuance is likely to become another quantum jump for China.”
Additionally, FortuneZ reported that the China Merchant Bank reportedly invested in the crypto wallet platform BitPie at the end of October.