The People’s Bank of China deputy governor Pan Gongsheng told a recent conference that 'virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.' Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Despite China’s high-profile tough stance on crypto-currency trading and initial coin offerings, Beijing is going to start publishing a ‘Global Public Chain Assessment Index’ list that, according to a government press release, will offer “independent analysis” on global public blockchain technology trends and projects, while also assessing the performance of leading crypto-currencies.

The project, managed by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in Beijing, will provide government, academic and industry reports that evaluate and review the performance of national and industry-led blockchain projects – a technology Beijing has been fully supportive of – while, perhaps more surprisingly, providing a benchmark view on the most popular global crypto tokens, from Bitcoin to Zcash.

In 2017, Beijing’s support saw more than half the world’s 406 blockchain-related patents coming from China but it has been wary of allowing the largely unregulated crypto-currency industry to flourish.

Economist Zhou Xiaochuan, who was governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) before stepping down in March, told this year’s National People’s Congress that a digital currency for China was “inevitable” and said government crypto tests would be ongoing in 2018.

But he also confirmed that Beijing’s hard line on crypto-based trading, mining and fundraising would continue. Nothing, said Zhou, would be allowed to “conflict with the current financial order.”

How the Global Public Chain Assessment Index list, that is set to start being published “in a matter of days”, will fit into their policy remains to be seen.

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