CRYPTO
Small toy figures are seen on representations of virtual currency in front of the Libra logo in this illustration picture, June 21, 2019.
(Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)

The Chinese delegation showed a bit more enthusiasm on digital currency during the 2019 Shanghai Wanxiang Blockchain summit held this week. They were particularly interested at what crypto can bring on the table, especially Facebook's much-hyped version of it -- the Libra.

Some 2,000 people were in attendance that gathered prominent economic ministers, including those behind China's blockchain program, and investors from the country's top crypto startups.

Speeches and exchange of ideas, which delved on a wide variety of subjects, might surprise many crypto advocates from non-Asian countries, who might think anything that concerns Web3 technology is prohibited in China. 

But the speeches turned out to be entirely different and interesting: the general topics regarding the acceptance of blockchain and its similar technologies is clearly in consonance with China's equally powerful economies in the West.

The Shanghai Wanxiang Conference, which started in 2015 and backed by car maker Wanxiang, has been the exclusive pioneering blockchain summit acknowledged by China's trade and government officials and respected by the global blockchain society.

This month's tech gathering was spearheaded by high-ranking public speakers, which includes Li Lihui, head of the Blockchain Research Group at the National Internet Association of China. Li is also a former member of the Financial Economic Committee of the 12th National People's Congress of China, and the former President of Bank of China.

Other guests of honor were Dr. Yao Qian, CEO of China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Ltd, and Feng Xiao, the official behind the tech conference, who is also considered as China's most important figure in terms of fast-tracking the integration of blockchain technology in the country.

Interpreting the thoughts of China's government officials on the matter of digital currency and its underlying technology may not be easy at times. There are nuances and technicalities here and there.

However, in this week's conference, people witnessed a more transparent command of language from the speakers, especially when they talked about Libra, a liberal form of finance, digitization of key assets and central bank virtual money. "Digital currency is the core of digital finance," Li pointed out during his speech, adding that it is through this process that "assets become more versatile."

Meanwhile, it has been 10 years since the Bitcoin Whitepaper was published, in which time blockchain has demonstrated an impressive momentum and influence. With the growth and impact brought by innovations like cross-chain and privacy-protection systems, the next decade is expected to be a game-changer to blockchain's global acceptance.