Central bank shakeup lowers hopes of policy change
Hopes that China’s anti-crypto stance could change soon have been dashed by the appointment of a well-known crypto critic as the top Communist Party official at the People’s Bank of China (PBoC).
According to a recent Wall Street Journal reportThe new party appointee to the Chinese central bank is Pan Gongsheng, the bank’s current deputy governor.
The article also cited unnamed sources as saying that Pan will “probably” become the next PBoC governor after being officially promoted to top Communist Party official at the bank.
If that happened, Pan would have more power than his predecessor Yi Gang, who was not a top party official, as governor, given the system in China where the top party official outweighs the administrative head of public entities.
Formerly in charge of crypto enforcement
Pan Gongsheng has had a long career in China’s financial sector, previously serving as head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.
In particular, Pan’s reputation as a keen crypto critic stems from his role as head of the Leading Internet Financial Risk Remediation Group, an entity tasked with cracking down on cryptocurrencies and overseeing the vast fintech (fintech) sector. from China.
At the end of 2017, Pan predicted the death of Bitcoin, saying: “There is only one thing left to do: sit by the riverbank and watch the body of Bitcoin pass by one day.”
He followed up with more aggressive comments on cryptocurrencies in 2018, saying the government would implement regulations aimed at shutting down cryptocurrency settlement providers, market makers, guarantors, peer-to-peer lending vehicles, alternative trading platforms, and wallets. of cryptocurrencies.
A blow to crypto-softening in China
The appointment of Pan as the new central bank Party chief and possibly governor is a major blow to those who predicted that China was softening its approach to cryptocurrencies thanks to Hong Kong’s ambition to become a cryptocurrency hub.
Among those who have predicted such softening is Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ), who called a television segment on mainland China’s CCTV on Hong Kong’s crypto regulations “a big deal.”
Others followed, for example Chinese crypto entrepreneur and Tron founder Justin Sun, who said the segment “could lead to more awareness and curiosity about cryptocurrencies.”
However, this will not be the case according to David Qu, China economist at Bloomberg Economics.
“To the best of my knowledge, no PBOC governor would support Bitcoin,” he commented in a Bloomberg article. article this week.
“What happens in Hong Kong is irrelevant, as mainland China generally sees Hong Kong as a foreign market.”