Bitcoin and blockchain are going mainstream in China. As a sign, a major fintech forum in Shanghai recently invited Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu to talk about its role in transforming finance and China’s economy.
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The event attracted dozens of media representatives, while over 300 financial industry participants also watched on.
Lujiazui International Financial Research Institute and business media outlet Caixin hosted the forum on September 7-8. Government and financial world representatives also spoke, from the Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China International (BOCI), UBS, and the National People’s Congress standing committee on finance and economics.
Financial Industry Reform Through Technology
The forum looked at how financial reform could promote world harmony and “green finance,” while boosting financial inclusion and closing wealth gaps. At the same time, it echoed the G20 summit in calling for more financial surveillance and improving governance frameworks for international finance.
The second day looked specifically at blockchain technology, with round table discussions and private sessions.
Former director of ICBC, Jiang Jianqing, said the banking industry faces a new period of digital change. He noted the penetration of technologies like cloud computing, mobile devices, blockchain, and A.I. — which the finance industry is adopting quickly.
Bitmain CEO: Bitcoin Could Create Prosperity in China, Make Businesses Competitive
Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu is one of Chinese Bitcoin’s most prominent figures. He spoke about how technology like Bitcoin could create prosperity and make businesses more competitive.
Specifically, the blockchain could move the Chinese economy away from real estate-centered investments and into more adventurous scientific areas.
Wu highlighted Bitmain’s role in producing much of the hardware supporting Bitcoin, and China’s own role in pioneering ASIC technology.
“In issuing Bitcoin, the earliest dedicated chips for Bitcoin in the world were manufactured and produced in China, and use of Bitmain miners ranks first in the global market. In the trading aspect of blockchain, the technology and trading volume of Chinese exchanges are also excellent.”
China is rich in talent and capital, Wu said. If government eases conditions for entrepreneurs while also cooperating with regulators to manage risk, China would have optimistic economic prospects.
He also spoke in favor of Bitcoin’s limited issuance and “prudent monetary policy,” even though it is not recognized as official currency.
Public Vs Private Blockchains
Wu added that the blockchain, as Bitcoin’s underlying technology, could find wider applications in the mainstream economy.
Blockchain could accelerate efficient cooperation among equal parties, increasing decentralization in networks where mistrust exists between participants. Therefore, it is effective at increasing the rate of capital flows and financial market efficiency, Wu said.
Bitcoin acts as the “public chain,” he added, while banks tend to prefer licensed or alliance chains that allow them to meet regulatory requirements more easily.
Wu said Bitmain would focus on the blockchain in other applications, such as commercial paper and the Internet of Things. At the same time, the company is “vigorously developing” an artificial intelligence business line.
Thanks to BitKan for assisting in the translation of the original report.
Will Bitcoin soon become self-aware? Does this mean Bitcoin is gaining more acceptance in mainstream Chinese finance? Let us know in the comments.
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