Li Bo, one of the deputy governors of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), said over the weekend that Bitcoin and other stablecoins could be considered as ‘alternative investments.’ According to him, the classification will remain valid until there is proper legal clarity.
Bo made the statement during a recent Bo’Ao Asia Forum. He explained:
We regard bitcoin and stablecoins as crypto assets. Crypto assets, as Agustin just discussed, are investment alternatives, they are not a currency per se. The main goal we see for crypto assets, going forward, they are mainly investment alternatives.
For the uninitiated, Stablecoins are digital assets that are pegged to a fiat currency, such as the British pound or the U.S. dollar.
Bo further explains that if stablecoins gain significant ground in China, issues may eventually come under the same legal regulation as traditional banks.
For stablecoins, they are crypto assets, and if they want to be accepted widely as a payment solution, we need stronger regulations, stronger than bitcoin maybe, in the sense, something like a currency board… Going forward, I think stablecoins, which may have the vision to become a widely accepted payment solution, has to be regulated like a bank or a quasi-bank.
The news comes as a surprise considering China’s stringent stance on the usage and possession of cryptocurrencies. On the flip side, the Chinese local market has remained one of the largest trading zones in the world.