The past few weeks have been an absolute flurry for the crypto space. Facebook’s launch of Libra awoke something in the public, forcing anyone and everyone to take note of this budding industry.
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Case in point, the chief executive-founder of one of the world’s most powerful technology companies, Huawei, was recently reported to have finally publicly addressed digital assets for seemingly the first time.
Libra, China Edition?
Sina Finance, a top business news publication that recently added support for Bitcoin and crypto feeds, recently covered legendary Chinese entrepreneur Ren Zhengfei’s comments on Libra.
Responding to a question from a reporter about if Libra is a way for the U.S. government to maintain global hegemony over finance, the Huawei chief executive stuck with the party stance.
Per Chinese cryptocurrency insider CnLedger, Zhengfei stated that to mitigate these concerns, China should launch its own version of Libra — its own digital asset — to counteract any encroachment by an entity that could theoretically be in cahoots with the American government.
He adds that with the backing of a government, a “crypto Yuan” is likely to outpace Libra, as “the power of a country is always stronger than that of an Internet company.”
Founder of Huawei: China can just issue our own version of Libra. Why should we wait for others to do it? The power of a country is always stronger than that of an Internet company.
Source (in Chinese): https://t.co/llbM6noiMI
— cnLedger (@cnLedger) July 26, 2019
This is presumably in reference to the fears purportedly festering in the Chinese community that the crypto project, despite it being based in Switzerland and slated to be comprised of global partners, could be used to hurt China’s economy and political status.
Indeed, should Libra make it to fruition, it is expected for the basket of currencies and government securities backing the crypto to consist of mostly U.S. dollars.
What’s funny is that the comment from Zhengfei comes as representatives of the People’s Bank of China — the nation’s central bank — have begun to hint at actually launching a cryptocurrency. No joke.
Per previous reports from NewsBTC, the head of the research division at the People’s Bank of China, Wang Xin, told an audience at the Peking University that Libra could affect international fiscal stability, and thus the Yuan. Thus, he added that there may be a move to digitize the Yuan, which is arguably already well on its way through WeChat Pay (literally 90% of stores and services accept this payment medium in urban areas),
He isn’t the first Chinese technology tycoon to have commented on the cryptocurrency project. Previously, the founder of Tencent, Pony Ma, tacitly endorsed Libra.
The billionaire, who founded the company behind WeChat, Fortnite, League of Legends, Clash of Clans, and other massive brands, remarked that he believes that Libra’s technology is “very mature.”
And Wang Xiaochuan, the chief executive of China’s second-largest search engine, made a similar comment. In a comment published via Weibo, the technologist claimed that “Internet 3.0 (meaning blockchain) is coming.” Wang added that with 2.7 billion users, a global vision and brand, a number of alliances, and other network effects, Libra is likely to make the “world different”.
Crypto on the Rise in China
The Huawei founder’s comments come as Libra and crypto have started to trend in China, despite Facebook being vehemently banned, as are foreign cryptocurrency exchanges and certain operations in the Bitcoin space.
Last week, cryptocurrency venture capitalist Dovey Wan pointed out that Libra had temporarily become the second-largest trending topic on Weibo, China’s take on Twitter. She added that per data from Weibo, the topic had seen over 220 million views and tens of thousands of comments.
#LIBRA made the second top trending topic on Weibo, Chinese twitter 🔥🔥
Unlike the first hearing didn’t make much splash outside crypto groups, in second one Marcus admitted “Libra will compete with Alipay/Wechat” which trigger the attention bomb widely @nlw narrative watch pic.twitter.com/9UeLn4dvop
— Dovey Wan 🗝 🦖 (@DoveyWan) July 18, 2019
According to Wan, this trend is easily explainable. She writes that this “attention bomb” in China was set off due to David Marcus’ mention of Alipay and WeChat Pay, the nation’s two foremost digital payment ecosystems.
Also, WeChat keyword analytics have recently registered a massive uptick in the volume of “Bitcoin”. In fact, the past ninety days have seen keyword volume for the Chinese term for “Bitcoin” skyrocket by five times.
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