The Chinese government has had a confusing stance on cryptocurrencies previously banning cryptocurrency exchanges, and cryptocurrency projects (initial coin offerings) while still allowing bitcoin mining.
In early 2018, representatives from the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) stated that the adoption of digital currencies was inevitable and viewed the likely growth and availability of decentralized cryptocurrencies as destabilizing to China’s economy.
Despite this hardline position against cryptocurrencies the Chinese government has drastically changed its attitude towards cryptocurrencies in recent months. China announced in 2019 the creation of a central bank-controlled digital (CBCD) currency. Zhou Xiaochuan, the former governor of the PBoC, is reported to have started the project to ensure China can maintain centralized control over its monetary policy instead of defaulting to use and rely on “externally controlled” Bitcoin.
In October 2019, Chairman Xi Jinping called for increased blockchain technology adoption, while specifically excluding decentralized cryptocurrencies.
In November 2019 a Chinese handbook about cryptocurrency was published. The 200-page manual, “Digital Currency: A Reader for Cadres” includes a comprehensive set of 23 articles, starting from the basics of digital currencies to their potential impacts on global finance. It is intended as a comprehensive collection of key information for officials to (quickly) understand the concept of cryptocurrencies.
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials appear to be showing a lot of interest in learning about cryptocurrencies. The book has proven so popular that it has entered its second printing after just 3 months. The book’s cover describes how digital currencies are, “inevitable in the course of history.” Articles were written by experts from the People's Bank of China and well-known university economists. The short papers focus on basic information and some in-depth analysis of potential impacts from commercial banks use of cryptocurrency. The collection of articles was chosen in the “hope to help Party cadres deepen their understanding” of cryptocurrencies. The high demand shows that the CCP is seeking clarity and knowledge amongst the recent confusing regulations and shifting attitudes on cryptocurrencies.
The book’s author is Ren Zhongwen, and the book is published by Daily Press for the low price of ¥29.20 (~ $4.23 USD). The book is considered essential reading for government officials looking to better understand cryptocurrency. The book ranks 8th in the Dangdang Economic Book Rankings. There is no English translation of the book available yet but the views expressed in the book are not new.
May be the Little Red Book (Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong) originally produced in 1964 by the People's Liberation Army has finally given way to the Little White Book of cryptocurrencies in the digital age.