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Can China Become a Leading Crypto Ecosystem?

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China’s cryptocurrency industry has always been a source of much debate, with many believing that the country is wary of emerging technologies.

At the Crypto Regulation Asia Summit session on the outlook of DeFi (decentralised finance), the issue of China’s cautious approach to cryptocurrencies was raised, with panelists discussing the country’s regulatory crackdowns and its ironic embrace of blockchain technology.

“There’s quite an active NFT marketplace [in China], and those NFTs are bought and paid for using e-CNY (China’s digital currency) and not cryptocurrencies. They’re on a closed blockchain, so they don’t really interact with the rest of the world”, Eventus System’s Vince Turcotte said at the summit on Thursday, when asked if China could re-enter the crypto asset space.

“By withdrawing some of the speculative interest and telling people to focus on the practical applications of the technology, I think they’re eventually going to lead the world. They’re already looking at schemes to put things like automobile registrations, university degrees, and land titles into the NFT universe”.

“That’s really powerful. And it’s something that the rest of the developed world can learn from”, he added.

New, but isolated

While some countries might look to China as example, the country’s crypto ecosystem is nevertheless still a “private garden”, Elliptic APAC senior policy advisor Tung Li Lim told Blockhead on the sidelines of the summit.

“To some extent, they’re creating an entirely new crypto industry”, he said, adding, “All this shows that they recognise the promise of the technology, but want to mitigate the risks by implementing a solution of their own”.

“It’s definitely easier for them to prune and grow it in the way they want to keep out the pests”, he concluded.