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Will China’s Digital Currency Free Citizens From Big Brother?

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China’s overbearing control and interference in the daily lives of its citizens is well known across the globe. The People’s Republic likes to be involved and does not want to give too much freedom and liberty away. 

It is this sentiment from the government that played into its decision to harshly stamp down on ICOs, Bitcoin, and even access to cryptocurrency exchanges through 2017 and 2018. The government realized that the anonymous digital currencies offered their citizens borderless, anonymous, financial liberties that did not fit with their policies. 

However, the country has started to soften its views – on blockchain anyway. The president of China recently announced that they would be ramping up their blockchain efforts with a surprising side effect being the unofficial softening of views on cryptocurrency.

Everything from VC blockchain investment to cryptocurrency mining has been allowed to grow in China. This may also have something to do with China’s decision to launch its own central bank-backed digital currency in the coming months. 

This new currency has been at the top of many discussions around the regulated and institutional use of digital currencies. It has been the subject of discussion when trying to find the right balance between the power of a decentralized cryptocurrency and a central bank controlled one. 

Now, it has emerged that China is even allowing its citizens a slice of anonymity when it comes to the use of this new cryptocurrency; something that not many saw coming. It has been reported that in issuing the digital currency, China’s central bank will not seek full control of the users’ details. 

“We know the demand from the general public is to keep anonymity by using paper money and coins … we will give those people who demand it anonymity in their transactions,” Mu Changchun, head of the People’s Bank of China’s digital currency research institute, told a conference in Singapore.

“But at the same time we will keep the balance between the ‘controllable anonymity’ and anti-money laundering, CTF (counter terrorist financing), and also tax issues, online gambling and any electronic criminal activities,” he added.

“That is a balance we have to keep, and that is our goal. We are not seeking full control of the information of the general public.”

This would be a huge step for the Chinese government, its citizens, and even the proliferation of digital currencies. With China now being seen as the forerunner for these central bank digital currency which is gaining momentum, their decision to allow a form of anonymity shows some of the decentralized benefits of crypto can be maintained 

Darryn Pollock
Darryn has been interested in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space since he heard about Bitcoin in 2015. He then decided to use his journalism degree to report on this fascinating fintech space in 2016, and has not looked back since.

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