China needs to develop robust regulatory framework for blockchain, NIFA exec says

China’s fintech self-regulating body aims to tackle the issue in 2018

China needs to develop robust regulatory framework for blockchain, NIFA exec says

China needs to develop better regulatory frameworks to foster the future growth of blockchain technology in the country, a representative of a local fintech self-regulatory body has said.

"While blockchain's technological development has seen a major progress in China over last year with blockchain platforms launched by internet giants such as Baidu and Tencent, our regulatory initiative is substantially lagging behind," the head of the Blockchain Research Working Group at China's National Internet Finance Association (NIFA), Li Lihui said at the 2018 Bo’Ao Forum for Asia on Tuesday, as quoted by industry website Coindesk.

Li was on a panel that discussed the latest blockchain developments in the People’s Republic, as well as the future of the technology. The experts suggested that a well-designed regulatory framework would likely be the key driver for the tech’s future growth.

Li said that developing such a framework would be one of NIFA’s priorities this year. He went on to explain that his organisation was aiming to develop a standardisation framework for blockchain use, as well as establish a third-party entity to certify blockchain-related innovation.

“This needs our immediate attention,” Li said, adding that these efforts also help fostering and recruiting blockchain specialists.

The NIFA organisation was launched in 2015 by the People’s Bank of China, with the aim of ensuring the healthy development of financial technology in the Asian country. In the past few months the organisation has issued several warnings on cryptocurrency related activities. Perhaps most notably, in the first half of September NIFA issued a couple of warnings about the risks associated with initial coin offerings (ICOs) and digital currency trading. These warnings were shortly followed by government bans on ICOs and cryptocurrency exchange trading in the country.

Earlier this year, the organisation also issued a statement, advising Chinese citizens against participating in foreign initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency trading.

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