On May 20, 2019, the Shenzhen Institute of Financial Science and Technology in China began accepting applications for at least two positions directly related to blockchain technology. The open positions include blockchain architect and blockchain R&D engineer.
The Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is one of three institutions which organized the Shenzhen Institute. The others include the Shenzhen Local Financial Supervision Bureau and the Futian District People’s Government.
What is interesting about this development is that the PBoC is the central bank of the People’s Republic of China. Both of these have been apparently critical of Bitcoin (BTC) over the last several years.
China Previously Banned ICOs
On Sep 4, 2017, the PBoC issued a circular that effectively banned Chinese citizens from participating in initial coin offerings (ICOs) with a series of ICO Rules. These also placed restrictions on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges. In addition, they forbade financial institutions from providing cryptocurrency-related services.
Since at least 2011, it appears that China has also considered banning Bitcoin and altcoin mining. The country confirmed this again in early April with a warning that a ban may be forthcoming.
People’s Bitcoin of China
Despite these initiatives, a report from the United States Library of Congress dated June 2018 states that the PBoC has been considering deploying a national digital currency for China. This recent news seems to reconfirm this intention.
However, the hiring of a blockchain architect and R&D engineer does not mean we should expect China to adopt a national cryptocurrency anytime soon. On the contrary, there are many ways in which the PBoC and the Chinese government could use blockchain technology without creating a national cryptocurrency.
After all, the recent failure of the petro — a cryptocurrency deployed by the Venzualian national government — may give China reasons to pause.
China’s ultimate intentions remain unknown. However, the continued interest and apparent research into the blockchain by the PBoC’s institutes may bode well for overall adoption of the emerging technology. It may also indicate future institutional adoption of the blockchain within the country’s financial sector.
Do you think that China will develop a national cryptocurrency? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Image credits courtesy of Shutterstock.