Monday’s edition of Xinhua went into detail about how bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology works, describing it as “one of the hottest topics in recent years”.
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China has been slow to acknowledge the potential benefits of cryptocurrency compared to other countries and has typically taken a hardline attitude towards the industry.
In September 2017, as bitcoin was heading towards its record high price, Beijing introduced a ban on all cryptocurrency exchanges to prevent citizens from purchasing digital currencies with Chinese yuan.
The Xinhua article was not wholly positive about bitcoin, claiming that the semi-anonymous nature of the cryptocurrency meant it was used for illicit activities like money laundering.
“People can freely transfer money through bitcoin without having to verify various identity information… However, this feature also makes bitcoin widely used in illegal transactions,” the article states.
“Currently, the most important use of bitcoin payments are black market transactions and ‘dark web’ transactions.”
China’s change in policy towards cryptocurrency and blockchain began earlier this year, prompting rumours that the country was close to unveiling plans for its own state-backed token.
A law is also set to be introduced in January that will “facilitate the development of the cryptography business and ensure the security of cyberspace and information”.
This is expected to precede the launch of China’s cryptocurrency, which is being developed by China’s central bank. Previous positive sentiment from China has been credited for boosting bitcoin’s price, however the latest market movements suggest bitcoin’s value has been unaffected.
Draft documents from the European Central bank urged the EU to “explore the opportunities” afforded by the new technology.
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