Not a month into Xi Jinping’s public speech in Beijing, where he praised blockchain technology and asked local government bodies and businesses to start examining their position in the emerging hi-tech field, and we already see Chinese business giants getting ahead of the game.
More specifically, Tencent Holdings, which is considered by many to be the Google of China, standing behind QQ, WeChat, and many international internet services, including videogames, video platforms, cloud platforms, and more, recently announced the company’s commitment to blockchain technology, during the second World Blockchain Conference that took part in Wuzhen, China.
The general manager of Tencent blockchain business division, Cai Weige spoke at the conference under the theme “Into the Digital Era of New Era”, revealing the company’s plans to establish a virtual bank was approved by the SFC with a Hong Kong license as reported by local financial media Sina.
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) had previously published a regulatory reform affecting virtual asset portfolio managers, and traders last month, essentially asking all blockchain-powered startups and established-companies to register with the HK financial watchdog in order to operate ‘legally’, and it seems that Tencent was among the first to comply.
As previously reported by Cryptos.com, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is planning on distributing its new government-backed cryptocurrency DC/EP through already established payment behemoths including Tencent’s Tenpay and WeChat, among AliPay, UnionPay and other digital payment processing apps.
Will the new ‘virtual bank’ of Tencent be directly involved with the DC/EP stablecoin or a gateway to more digital payment options is yet unclear, and Weige said that blockchain is still in an infancy stage, but it holds many key elements for future developments in artificial intelligence, networking, and security, regardless of its ability to offer an alternative monetary system such as cryptocurrencies.
The Hong Kong SFC was promoting the regulation of virtual assets for some time now, even before Xi Jinping’s speech, while the latter was the catalyst for a broader, international spread of the importance of blockchain technology in an attempt to focus serious eyes on the booming industry.
Tencent is not a newcomer to digital payments, and some of its apps are already offering automatic electronic invoices, and fund distribution, linked with retail businesses such as McDonald’s, and cryptocurrency businesses such as Binance.
Li Daokui, the Chief Economist at the New Development Bank of China, previously cited that electronic payment apps such as AliPay, WeChat, TenPay, and even Facebook’s upcoming stablecoin Libra will dominate the future economic base, while the long-spread US Dollar will have vanished before we realized it.