After the well-known crypto crackdown launched by the Chinese government four years ago, it seems there is now a change in the tone from the country’s central bank. At least that’s what has been suggested recently by the deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC).
Central Bank Clarifies Its Regulatory Framework on Cryptos Will Remain Unchanged
During a panel hosted by CNBC at the Boao Forum for Asia, Li Bo is now naming bitcoin (BTC) with the “investment alternative” term for the first time since the crackdown. However, he made some clarifications on the meaning of his stance towards cryptocurrencies:
We regard Bitcoin and stablecoin as crypto-assets. These are investment alternatives. They are not a currency per se. And so, the main role we see for crypto assets going forward, the main role is investment alternative.
Such a statement implies an unprecedented change in Beijing’s tone on cryptos, even with experts quoted by CNBC considering these comments as “progressive,” as the country is also paving the way for the forthcoming digital yuan.
Li continued to elaborate on cryptocurrencies as investment alternatives:
Many countries, including China, are still looking into it and thinking about what kind of regulatory requirements. Maybe minimal, but we need to have some kind of regulatory requirement to prevent it. The speculation of such assets to create any serious financial stability risks.
Still, he clarified that the PBoC would keep its regulatory framework on cryptos unchanged.
PBoC Expects to Develop Cross-Border Solutions With Digital Yuan
During the panel, the newly-appointed central bank’s deputy governor commented on the digital yuan. He pointed out that “our goal is not to replace the U.S. dollar or any other international currency, as our goal is to allow the market to choose and to facilitate international trade and investment.”
That said, Li unveiled that the PBoC has some plans in regards to developing cross-border solutions with the “e-yuan”:
Our focus, again, is that we want to establish a very solid domestic e-yuan first and build up a healthy ecosystem, at the same time working with our international partners. Hopefully, in the long term, we’ll have a cross-border solution as well.