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Crisis In Crypto: China’s Leading Blockchain Advocate Faces Investigation

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Yao Qian, a prominent ‘pro-blockchain official’ in China, is under investigation by Chinese authorities for undisclosed “violations of law.”

The Background Of Blockchain Advocacy And The Current Crackdown

Qian, known for his pivotal role in developing China’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), has been a leading voice in the country’s blockchain initiative.

Qian’s efforts were instrumental in the conceptualization and rollout of the digital yuan, positioning China at the forefront of digital currency technology on a global stage.

The investigation, led by the Discipline Inspection and Supervision Team of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervision Commission at the China Securities Regulatory Commission, has stirred concerns within the blockchain community.

Yao Qian’s contributions to the Chinese financial technology landscape have been noteworthy, serving in various high-profile government roles, including Director of the Science and Technology Supervision Department and the Information Center of the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Yao Qian has also been a ‘staunch’ advocate for blockchain and digital currencies, arguing for issuing a state-owned digital currency as early as 2017 to enhance the market position of China’s local currency.

Wu Blockchain said, “He was the creator of China’s CBDC and served as the director of the central bank’s digital currency research institute.” However, Qian is now scrutinized by the same government, which is pushing for technological advancements.

The specifics of the allegations against Qian remain “vague,” with authorities citing “serious violations of discipline and law” without providing further details. The report particularly noted:

Yao Qian, Director of the Science and Technology Supervision Department and Director of the Information Center of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, is suspected of serious violations of discipline and law and is currently under investigation by the Central Committee.

Broader Implications For Blockchain And Crypto In China

Despite the ongoing investigation into one of its key proponents, the blockchain sector in China continues to see interest and development, particularly in areas not directly related to cryptocurrencies.

For instance, at a recent annual gathering of China’s political and industry leaders in Beijing, proposals were made to accelerate the development of blockchain technology to enhance government services, supply chains, and trade.

These developments indicate that while the country may be skeptical about cryptocurrencies, it recognizes the broader applications of blockchain technology.

Furthermore, China’s financial giants, like Harvest Fund and Southern Fund, are venturing into the international cryptocurrency space with applications to launch a new spot Bitcoin ETF through their Hong Kong subsidiaries.

This move is indicative of a nuanced approach to blockchain and digital assets, suggesting a potential softening of stance or at least an acknowledgment of the financial opportunities these technologies present on a global scale.

Featured image from Unsplash, Chart from TradingView

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