Late yesterday while everyone was inundated with the suspense of spectating the great sport of American brinksmanship, an article was released in China: (http://finance.sina.com.cn/money/lczx/20131017/071917018288.shtml)
This well researched article features an interview with a real life Chinese Bitcoiner, the professional opinions of Economic professors from leading Chinese Universities, and surprisingly even a comment from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC)
This has been maybe a little too optimistically translated as:
“no plans to introduce regulatory policies for bitcoin.”
However, the translation more correctly reads:
“As of today, there are no regulatory policy plans directed against Bitcoin.”
This is definitely better than “NO COMMENT;” However, tomorrow is another day.
Western readers must realize that the Chinese government is perhaps even more skilled than the American government in disseminating half-truths. Don’t be blindsided when the China Banking Regulatory Commission, in the near future, enacts regulation that effects Bitcoin and/or Bitcoin users somehow, likely by targeting exchanges.
Why then, would the CBRC allow their staff to pass on such a statement to the press?
A few months ago, a fellow member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), the Bank of Thailand, allegedly told a Thai Bitcoin Exchange to shutter its doors because under current laws Bitcoin transactions are technically illegal due to an absence of established regulatory policies regarding it. This led to over-exaggerated claims that Thailand had banned the digital money (http://www.cnbc.com/id/100923551). In reality, Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul has called for time for the Bank of Thailand to “look at the issue first” and the majority of Bitcoin businesses in Thailand have continued operating without interference from the Bank. (http://asiancorrespondent.com/111332/has-bitcoin-been-banned-from-thailand/)
Whether intentionally or not, the CBRC’s statement has fed fuel to the Bitcoin fire, and set a precedent on how to address the legality Bitcoin in your country and according to your banks. To all the high level banksters and 3rd world country leaders reading this article: Please take China’s example not Thailand’s example.
The CBRC is one of the more prominent members of the AFI, whose stated goal is to “advance the development of smart financial inclusion policy in developing and emerging countries.” Specifically, the AFI aims to do this by utilizing a “peer-to-peer learning model to connect, encourage and enable financial policymakers to interact and exchange knowledge on policy initiatives such as consumer protection, mobile financial services, financial integrity, agent banking, formalizing microsavings, data and measurement, and general financial inclusion.”
Given China’s prominent position among developing and emerging countries, It will be interesting to see in the coming months what the other 88 member nations of the AFI release to their public regarding Bitcoin. To this author, “smart financial inclusion policy in developing and emerging countries” and Bitcoin seem like a match made in Heaven. Whether or not this match has the explicit blessings of the Chinese Government remains to be seen.