China may be warming to bitcoin.
Yesterday, Xinhua News Agency, a Chinese state-run media outfit, published an analysis over Bitcoin’s latest price surge. The analysis touched on the price of Bitcoin and speculated on the reason for its bullish run, touching on Facebook’s Libra as a possible cause.
But more tellingly, it said that bitcoin has proven it’s a safe haven, attracting the attention of many investors. It put this into context, pointing out that global markets have become more volatile as a result of trade disputes and the long-awaited downturn of the global economy. This comes at the same time as the Trump government is gearing up to impose further tariffs on Chinese imports.
These are strong words from the Chinese government’s media arm, which has previously been very dismissive of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. It has called for greater regulation of cryptocurrencies and has repeatedly reported on various bans of bitcoin-related activity.
China's relationship with cryptocurrencies has been rocky at best. As of now, Chinese investors can own and hold digital assets, but things such as Bitcoin trading and organizing Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are prohibited, thanks to a state-imposed ban. To make things worse, reports surfaced in April that the country was mulling over placing a ban on Bitcoin mining as well. Many commentators said it was the final nail in the coffin of China's stuttering crypto market.
But perhaps there is a change in the wind.