Why Are China’s Tech Tycoons Excited About Facebook’s Crypto & Blockchain?
Libra Elicits Support from Crypto Diehards to Chinese Businessmen
Facebook’s Libra, a to-be-launched crypto asset to be backed by a blockchain, has drawn support from all across the globe. Everyone from mainstream media and Bitcoin (BTC) pundits to technology all-stars have expressed excitement for the project. Most interestingly, however, tycoons of Chinese business have recently come out in support of the project, which has been formally endorsed by Visa, PayPal, a16z, Coinbase, Spotify, Uber, Booking Holdings (Booking.com, Kayak, etc.), and countless other corporate giants.
According to cnLedger, a Twitter user that has become the go-to source for China-centric Bitcoin news, the founder of Tencent, Pony Ma, has openly endorsed Libra. In a comment, the billionaire, who founded the company behind WeChat, Fortnite, League of Legends, Clash of Clans, and other massive brands, remarked that he believes that Libra’s technology is “very mature.”
Ma went on to state that the success of the cryptocurrency is dependent on “whether or not the regulation allows it.” For such a massive figure to laud Facebook, in a country where it, Bitcoin, and crypto assets are vehemently banned, this is a strong showing.
Wang Xiaochuan, the chief executive of China’s second largest search engine, made a similar comment. In a comment made via Weibo, the tech legend claimed that “Internet 3.0 (meaning blockchain) is coming.” Wang added that with 2.7 billion users, a global vision and brand, a number of alliances, and other network effects, Libra is likely to make the “world different”. He did note, however, that this newfangled crypto asset could pose a “new challenge to China”.
Why exactly are they excited about the project though?
Well interestingly, it may have much to do with China’s overall proclivity towards harnessing blockchain systems to improve business. Although authorities, including the nation’s Central Bank, have denounced Bitcoin and its ilk as scams and more on multiple occasions, the nation is all for blockchain. It isn’t clear why this dichotic stance has been taken, but China has gone all in on this new class of technology.
In fact, Chinese-English newspaper China.org.cn claimed that the nation is leading the world in “new blockchain projects.” For some reason or another, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his cabinet members see value in this technology, especially in how it can be used in non-monetary use cases. This isn’t just propaganda. In April, the Chinese government and its partners were revealed to be supporting the construction of a so-called “blockchain city” in the Malaysian Malacca Strait with a $120 million planned investment.
While Libra is unlikely to be used in China, as authorities in the region like to have complete control over local finance, the fact that one of the world’s largest companies is utilizing blockchain likely tugs on the heart strings of the aforementioned pro-technology, pro-China businessmen.