Dubbed the gathering of Liang Hui or “both assemblies”, which commenced in Beijing on March 3rd, it is scheduled to run for 10 to 14 days and it is an event where major political decisions are discussed. It is a meeting of the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party which aims at electing those in power by reflecting the aspirations of the Chinese people and the policies that will lead them.
Although Liang Hui 2018 has only recently begun, participants were quick to bring up a very sensitive issue: the future of Blockchain technology on Chinese markets. And, while China has clearly banned ICOs and has shown itself to be against the use of cryptocurrencies, this sentiment was not echoed during discussions at the summit. Moreover, the ambitions of the Middle Kingdom and its use of cryptocurrency could prove useful in their global conquest.
Let the Debates Begin!
The two assemblies brought together be Liang Hui are the Chinese National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Assembly (PCC).
The first is the equivalent of the US House of Representatives and according to the country’s constitution, is the most powerful institution in China. While the PCC is another powerful organization composed artists, businessmen, athletes, non-members of the Communist Party and many more.
Some of the most ambitious proposals regarding Blockchain technology have come from Wang Pengjie, a member of the PCC who belongs to the minority Zhi Gong party. In his speech, he recognized the economic advantages of cryptocurrency and drew a parallel between “Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin, whose combined market caps exceed that of Tencent, China’s largest internet provider.” According to Penjie, the government, its central bank and the country’s regulatory commission, the CSRC, need to legislate cryptocurrencies which will provide companies with a better way for fundraising.
Pony Ma, the CEO of Tencent, he seconds this idea. “The invention of Blockchain is a great technological feat” and his company is “actively exploring different applications for the technology” but has no intention of launching their own cryptocurrency.”
Blockchain Technology and Taxes
It seems that exhortations from the Chinese people have now been multiplied. Zhou Yanli, a PCC member and former member of the Insurance Regulatory Commission, has expressed his belief in an insurance system based on Blockchain technology. In fact, during April of 2017, ten other Chinese insurance companies admitted to having experimented with the idea of an insurance system based on the tech.
While many speakers such as the Mayor of Hangzhou, renown for being Alibaba’s headquarters, are in favor of China’s use of Blockchain technology, there are still a few voices who are speaking out against the issue.
The Fears of the Empire
For most, it’s hard to disassociate Blockchain technology from cryptocurrency and according to Zhou Hongyi and Ding Lei, it’s even harder for China to accept the idea of decentralized organizations.
For Hongyi, the head of a cybersecurity company known as Qihoo 360, Bitcoin is the only application for Blockchain technology and that the “countless hackings of exchanges are proof that the technology still needs to be improved.” He also brought up the fact that it is entirely possible for “someone” holding 51% of the Blockchain’s computing power to take over control of the network.
As for Ding Lei, CEO and founder of NetEase, the power of Blockchain technology is based solely on speculation.
All these ideas being tossed around during the first 3 days of Liang Hui will surely give the Chinese authorities a better idea on how to clarify their stance on cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology: the Blockchain.