The People’s Bank of China considers bitcoin and stablecoins to be cryptocurrency assets and classifies them as alternative investments, not currencies, announced the new deputy chairman of the department, Li Bo.
Speaking at the Asian Bo’Ao Forum, Lee said that until the regulator develops specific requirements for such assets, it will adhere to current policies to prevent risks to financial stability posed by the speculative nature of such assets. He gave his comment in response to a question from the moderator of the discussion about whether China intends to continue to adhere to a prohibitive policy regarding cryptocurrency trading.
“We consider Bitcoin and stablecoins to be cryptoassets. Crypto assets, these investment alternatives, are not pure currencies. With regard to investment alternatives, many countries, including China, are still sorting out and considering regulatory requirements in order to prevent serious risks to financial stability due to the speculative nature of such assets. Until we have a clear idea of what regulation is required, I think we will stick to the current model, ”Lee said.
In 2017, the Chinese authorities banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) and fiat currency transactions on crypto exchanges on their territory. Since that time, platforms such as Huobi and OKEx have provided local traders with the opportunity to exchange cryptocurrency pairs, and offer an over-the-counter service to fund accounts in RMB.
“As for stablecoins, these are also crypto assets. Their widespread acceptance as a payment solution will require stronger regulation, perhaps even stronger than the one applied to bitcoin, such as the currency board. In the future, stablecoins will have to be regulated as a bank or quasi-bank as a common means of payment, ”added Lee.
The representative of the Central Bank also confirmed that at the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022, the digital yuan will be used, and it will be available not only to citizens of the country, but also to foreign guests. “We have absolutely no intention of replacing the dollar or any other international currency. We want to give the market a choice, ”added Lee.