Last updated on January 15th, 2014 at 04:02 pm
China’s central bank addressed Bitcoin in a press conference headed by the chief of its financial survey and statistics department. Sheng Song Cheng transmitted the official stance given by the Chinese authorities: “we don’t want to suppress or discriminate against Bitcoin, we are simply saying it is not a currency”.
The decision revealed during the conference held this Wednesday (15) is being welcomed by the Bitcoin community as a positive development in China’s apparent war against digital money. The meeting was focused on the country’s 2013 financial statistics, but Bitcoin popped up as the journalists started asking questions about it.
“We took a look at Bitcoin and it doesn’t have the characteristics of a currency. As far as I know, the vast majority of countries does not recognize Bitcoin as a currency”, Sheng Song Cheng answered.
Before confirming cryptocurrency’s status in China as a “virtual good”, he also added that the “People’s Bank and the relevant departments will continue to focus on Bitcoin and its associated risks, strengthen the monitoring and analysis and guide the public to establish a correct concept of money and investment philosophy”.
The authorities’ posture regarding cryptocurrency falls under Sheng Song Cheng’s public opinion about Bitcoin. Recently, he wrote an article saying that “it would be difficult to see how Bitcoin could ever be considered a currency in the future”. The English edition of the newspaper Global Times even quoted Sheng as the author of a powerful sentence: “Bitcoin is merely a utopia for technology supremacists and absolute liberalists”.
Still, according to the opinion of some Bitcoiners, this means that China is legitimizing Bitcoin, despite the country’s successive warnings about the high risks of dealing with the digital coin. For now, the authorities aren’t banning Bitcoin – neither do they plan to do it -, only tightening the regulation and keeping an eye on the users and exchanges.
Coincidence or not, the price of Bitcoin in China has registered a slight improvement on BtcChina in the last few hours, surpassing the ¥5,000 mark.