In late September 2021, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) banned all cryptocurrency transactions. The PBOC cited the role of cryptocurrencies in facilitating financial crime as well as posing a growing risk to China’s financial system owing to their highly speculative nature. While another potential reason behind the cryptocurrency ban is an attempt to combat capital flight from China.
Amid this, China Central Television aired a segment on Tuesday involving virtual assets, which garnered attention from around the world. The segment, which was a minute long, features bitcoin, Non-fungible tokens and is titled “Hong Kong Securities Regulatory Commission: Implementing a mandatory licensing system for virtual asset trading platforms from June 1.” As reported in the segment, Hong Kong regulators “have made final preparations” for the trading of virtual assets in the special administrative region and will accept applications from virtual asset trading platforms.
This move represents an implicit sweep of China showing a silent acceptance of cryptocurrencies. This is in stark contrast to the stringent regulation imposed on cryptocurrencies by authorities in mainland China, which includes a blanket ban on mining and cryptocurrency exchanges.
Zhonghui Cai, an official from the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong, explained during the airtime that the regulation of virtual asset providers faces challenges such as cybersecurity, surety of clients’ assets and potential conflict of interest between platforms and clients.
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has finalized rules to allow retail trading of cryptocurrencies from June 1, the regulator announced on Tuesday, paving the way for a highly anticipated move in the city’s drive to become a virtual assets hub. As indicated in a consultation launched in February, these rules will allow licensed exchanges to sell to retail investors cryptocurrencies with large market capitalization and high liquidity, including bitcoin and ether.
China Central Television (CCTV) is a national television broadcaster of China, established in 1958 as a propaganda outlet. It is the largest state broadcaster, with various programs catering to an audience of over 1 billion people. Interestingly, nothing overtly negative was said about cryptocurrencies during the 98-second segment.