The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is now under the guidance of the newly appointed governor, Yi Gang, who was recently voted in by the National People’s Congress. As such, Gang has taken center stage in one of the most important regulatory bodies in the country — especially as it pertains to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
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A New Governor’s in Town
Under the new governor, PBoC’s stance on cryptocurrencies could soften as Yi Gang has previously spoken about bitcoin and other digital currencies in a positive light.
Gang released a statement after his new appointment, expressing that the “main task is that we should implement prudent monetary policy, push forward the reform and opening-up of the financial sector, and maintain the stability of the entire financial sector.”
Sounds open-minded, at least on paper. Or, to put it another way: the rhetoric could be a lot harsher.
Simultaneously, Liu He, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s confidante and key economic advisor, was appointed as the Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China. It is expected that Liu He will be closely working with Gang to form economic policies.
Yi Gang’s predecessor previously commented that the PBoC disapproves “speculative cryptocurrency products” and does not officially acknowledge bitcoin.
Gang’s Appointment Positive for Crypto?
In 2013, Gang pointed put that bitcoin is miles away from being recognized as legal tender by PBoC, though he also acknowledged the transactional possibilities that the digital currency offers, adding that, “ordinary people have the freedom to participate” in bitcoin.
In 2016, Gang stated, “We must promote the use of digital technology to promote inclusive finance, handle the relationship between innovation and risk in the process of promoting inclusive finance, and establish a legal regulatory framework that is suitable.”
After his appointment to PBoC, Gang has not issued any statement on the legal status of cryptocurrencies in China. What will be interesting to see is if the PBoC will soften its hardline stance on cryptocurrencies with Gang at the helm.
Only time will tell.
Will China reverse the ban on cryptocurrencies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
Images via Wikipedia, Carbon Brief