China Appears to Soften Its Stance Regarding Cryptocurrency
In an unexpected move, a major Chinese state bank has posted what appears to be a positive infographic on its website detailing the history of Bitcoin and some basic cryptocurrency concepts. The infographic notes the impressive gains that Bitcoin has benefitted from recently and appears to address the relevance of cryptocurrency in today’s world.
Trading of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in China has been illegal since the country banned Bitcoin exchanges back in 2017. While the ban forced some exchanges to move their operations to other countries, it is believed that millions of Chinese citizens still trade cryptocurrencies through subversive means. Although trading is banned, mining cryptocurrency in the country is still legal, and it is estimated that 60 percent of all Bitcoin’s hash power comes from China.
Leading US financial magazine Forbes even reported about the development, mentioning a Tweet from Bitcoin developer and popular crypto voice Samson Mow, the chief strategy officer at major blockchain firm Blockstream. Mow mentioned his surprise at seeing the infographic on the Bank of China website, stating: “Never thought I’d see that happen.”
The unexpected move has been widely viewed as very ‘bullish’ amongst cryptocurrency investors and could precipitate massive growth in the industry. With a population of 1.4 billion, any favorable change in the law by the Chinese government could be hugely positive news for cryptocurrency.
The change follows a recent legal ruling by China’s Hangzhou Internet Court that classified Bitcoin as a commodity that should be considered ‘digital property.’ While the ruling didn’t go so far as to give it a ‘legal currency’ status, the recognition by an authoritative body is evidence of changing mindsets within the country.
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Improving Cryptocurrency Adoption and Use Cases
In recent years it has become all too easy to look at Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency in general, as nothing more than a commodity for trading.
It was never intended to be this way. Bitcoin was created as an alternative to the tired, outdated fiat model that the world currently uses, and it’s important to remember this fact and continue to strive towards a day when crypto is as easy to spend as more ‘traditional’ currencies.
Leading crypto payment gateway Coinpayments recently formed a partnership with directory listing site Cryptwerk, in a move that will no doubt help increase adoption within the industry. In the press release regarding the partnership, Sean Mackay from Operations at Coinpayments raised an interesting point when he said that “It’s important to remember to not just hodl your crypto, but also to spend it to help increase adoption. Since the crypto space is still early days, spending and transferring cryptocurrency has never been so important!”
2019 has been a bumper year for Bitcoin so far, with the asset increasing by more than 200 percent since January. The growth has been attributed in no small part to the revelation that social media behemoth Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is considering developing its own blockchain-based payment service. Some now believe that China’s change in perspective may be a result of the positive attention Facebook has brought to the industry. In the US, however, lawmakers have been less than enamored by the plans—enacting a series of discussions to assess the potential impact of such a development.
While overly strict legislation could be viewed as detrimental to the industry, improved regulation is necessary if Bitcoin ever hopes to be used as a real currency. Crypto traders certainly enjoy the gains that can be made from high market volatility, but it’s equally important to remember that Bitcoin was created as a means of achieving peer-to-peer cash transactions.
Disclaimer: I currently hold a small amount of Bitcoin, XRP, and ETH.
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