Li Bo, the newly appointed deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, reportedly talked about the benefits of crypto as an investment vehicle, while highlighting the country’s regulatory uncertainty surrounding digital assets.

Chinese journalist Colin Wu said Li made a statement at the Boao Forum in southern China on Sunday. The PBoC chief said regulatory risks for the central bank still exist, citing a previous ban on initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency exchanges. Lee reportedly said the NBK “will continue to support current procedures and practices” as it is looking into any potential regulatory changes but appears to be aware of the investment potential of cryptocurrencies.

“We think bitcoins and stablecoins are cryptocurrencies,” he told me. “Crypto assets are an investment option, not a currency itself. This is an alternative investment, not a currency in itself. Therefore, we believe that crypto assets have an important role to play in the future, either as an investment vehicle or as an alternative investment.

The PBoC Deputy Governor added that stablecoins issued by private companies may require “stricter regulation” than Bitcoin (BTC), stating:

“In the future, if any stable currency hopes to become a widely used payment instrument, it must be subject to strict supervision, just as banks or quasi-bank financial institutions are strictly controlled.”
Li, one of the seven deputy governors of the People’s Bank of China Yi Ghana and a former deputy mayor of Chongqing in China, appears to be taking a tougher stance against the central bank, recognizing cryptocurrencies as a store of value. His appointment as deputy governor was announced last week.

His comments were made alongside former PBC chairman Zhou Xiaochua, who also attended the Boao forum, who appears to have distinguished between the “real economy” and the one in which digital currencies play a role:

“Finance should serve the real economy. Whether it is a digital currency or a digital asset, it must integrate closely with the real economy and serve the real economy. ”
The Chinese central bank is currently promoting a digital yuan pilot, which it first proposed in 2014, and is now testing the digital currency in major cities across the country. Li added that the NBK will “primarily focus on domestic use” of the digital yuan, saying China may consider cross-border payments and transactions “in the long term.” The country is reportedly planning to use the digital currency at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.