In the last few months, China has been in the news with regards to blockchain and cryptocurrency as the country seems to be softening its attitude and embracing both. First, the president called for more implementation of blockchain innovation as a means to develop several sectors within the country and many saw this is an official stamp of approval for the technology as it moves forward. Also, it has been confirmed that the Chinese central bank is working on a national digital token that will launch sometime next year and while the official details have not been given of the upcoming token, it continues to make headlines.

While a number of other countries are reportedly developing their digital currencies, Huang Qifan, vice chairman of China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), believes that China will be the first to successfully launch its national digital currency and will win the crypto race.

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These remarks were reportedly made at the Inaugural Bund Financial Summit of 2019 in Shanghai and it was also stated by Wang that he was dissatisfied with the dependence that China has on Swift and other us-based cross-border funds transfer systems due to the technical limitations and sanctions by the United States. He feels that the development of a national digital token by China will remove this sort of dependency.

“SWIFT is an outdated, inefficient and costly payment system. Since the establishment of SWIFT 46 years ago, the technology has been updated slowly and the efficiency has been relatively low,” he said. 

The removal of dependence on foreign-based payment platform seems to be a reoccurring theme in the Chinese financial market as cryptocurrencies in general are banned in China and it is thought that this new token is being developed as a response to Facebook’s libra token to ensure the Chinese citizens can enjoy the benefits of cryptocurrency but will not have to depend on any foreign-based cryptocurrency products. The country also recently passed the first cryptography law and many see this as a step in the right direction towards China’s crypto future.

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