Chinese President Xi Jingping supports the blockchain and says the Chinese government needs to do more in terms researching and investing in the blockchain, according to South China Morning Post.
Xi is also the general secretary of the Communist Part of China Central Committee and chaired a meeting on the subject with other advisors taking part.
Xi believes blockchain “will play an important role in the next round of technological innovation and industrial transformation”. “Major countries are stepping up their efforts to plan the development of blockchain technology. Greater effort should be made to strengthen basic research and boost innovation capacity to help China gain an edge in the theoretical, innovative and industrial aspects of this emerging field.”
What Xi’s Thoughts did to the Bitcoin Price
In just the last five days, the price of Bitcoin is exploding. It now stands at $9,360.67 after starting the trading day on October 24th, 2019 at $7,474. That’s a price gain of over 21%. The price briefly got up over $10,000 throughout the weekend before bouncing down to where it is today.
Is The Government’s Stance on Cryptocurrency Changing?
China banned an initial coin offering for a cryptocurrency exchange in 2017. The country wanted to curb enthusiasm around crypto to protect consumers in theory. China used to be the world’s largest influence on Bitcoin trading volume but that’s since changed because of the regulatory crackdown. However, the country still does maintain a major influence in the cryptocurrency mining space.
So while it’s nice to hear Xi extolled the virtues of the blockchain, the reality is the Chinese government has a history of tightly controlling what its citizens can and can’t do when it comes to money, politics and social issues. That in fact is part of the reason that China had such a stranglehold on Bitcoin trading volume is that Chinese people have the desire to keep their savings out of the hands of the government. Most Bitcoin and blockchain enthusiasts know that a big portion of the transactions that go through the world’s most valuable blockchain are the result of people trying to escape oppressive regimes.
Hyperinflation in Venezuela
The International Monetary Fund estimates that the inflation rate of the Venezuelan Bolivar will reach a staggering one million percent by the end of 2019. While Bitcoin’s price worldwide is usually listed on charts in comparison to the American dollar, that doesn’t mean that everyone gets access to Bitcoin at the same standard price. It’s estimated that the price of Bitcoin in Venezuela is doubling every single day.
That sounds huge and it is, but when the price of the local fiat currency is exploding by a million percent per year, it makes sense to put that money into Bitcoin as quickly as possible. Scarcity = value, and if people converting the Bolivar are lining up at Venezuelan exchanges all at the same time, it only makes sense that the price will continue to skyrocket. When a handful of countries experience the same thing, the overall volume being traded and acquired on the international market goes up.
Greece’s Government Debt Crisis
Known as The Crisis, Greece’s problems ironically stem from the same 2008 Global Economic Crisis that sparked the invention of Bitcoin and the blockchain network. The Crisis led to citizens quickly becoming impoverished. Overall, the situation in Greece surpassed the U.S. Great Depression as the longest recession on record. During this time, bond yield spreads have grown further and further apart and the government’s debt reached nearly 300 billion Euros, causing risk insurance and credit default swaps to rise in price, creating a whole system of growing debt.
Of course this led to more and more people searching for alternative ways to store value. This meant Greeks began putting money into traditional and digital gold, or Bitcoin.
One Other Potential Reason for Bitcoin’s Recent Surge
Bakkt is a Bitcoin futures exchange most serious traders were really excited about earlier this year and even going back to 2018. As soon as it launched, enthusiasts expected Bitcoin to go all the way to the moon. It’s just happening now, a little bit later than anybody thought it would.
Just in the last 24 hours, trading futures contracts on Bakkt has gone up 260%. This is all in anticipation of future events related to innovation in China. What comes from Xi’s comments in the long term remains to be seen, but for now it seems the market is already pricing in potential.