As published on karmaimpact.com, Thursday November 21, 2019.
China’s Central Bank is preparing to launch a fresh round of regulations covering 17 financial services technologies, including blockchain, a high-ranking official said.
People’s Bank of China Vice President Yifei Fan’s remarks Wednesday come amid a government campaign to keep pace with fast-changing developments in financial technologies.
“The financial industry either lacks the standards or needs to update existing standards,” Fan said.
China leads the world in blockchain use and development, filing the most patents for the technology as the country makes development of the technology a national priority, the Wharton School said in an April study. Still, blockchain, the underpinning platform for bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies have been among the most challenging developments for the country’s highly controlled financial services sector.
On Thursday, local police shuttered the Shanghai office of Binance, a Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange. The raid and news that Weibo, the state-controlled, Chinese equivalent to Twitter, closed the accounts of Binance and Tron, a major blockchain-based content platform with its own currency.
Last summer, China banned domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, where bitcoin and other digital currencies can be traded, largely because they operate outside the country’s regimented banking industry.
But in August, the PBOC announced that it would begin developing a digital currency. The initiative came as several, major financial services organizations and others have been exploring the creation of their own cryptocurrencies. The firms include JPMorgan Chase, UBS and Facebook.
China has already launched 65 new regulations and 252 industry standards for the financial sector. The government has placed tight restrictions on the amount of money that residents can move across borders, which has popularized cryptocurrencies that don’t need third-party authorization.