Summary List Placement

China pivoted in its stance on bitcoin on Sunday, calling the digital asset an “investment alternative” — a comment that Beijing insiders described as “progressive” — after years of cracking down on cryptocurrencies, CNBC first reported.

“We regard bitcoin and stablecoin as crypto assets …These are investment alternatives,” said Li Bo, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, during the Boao Forum for Asia, a panel hosted by CNBC on Sunday.

“They are not currency per se. And so the main role we see for crypto assets going forward, the main role is investment alternative.”

China in 2017 shuttered its cryptocurrency exchanges and banned initial coin offerings, which had been a new way for startups to raise funds by generating their own virtual currencies.

As investment alternatives, “many countries, including China, are still looking into it and thinking about what kind of regulatory requirements, maybe minimal, but we need to have…

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