Bitcoin, released to the world in 2009 by a person or people called Satoshi Nakamoto, is not backed by a central bank or a government and is seen as an alternative payment system. In February 2013, Bi

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What is China’s digital currency?
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. The Chinese government has started large-scale testing of its digital currency, bringing Beijing a step closer to taking greater control over the country’s financial system – everything that a decentralized cryptocurrency like bitcoin was built to avoid. What is China’s digital currency? China’s sovereign digital currency program is officially called the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP).  The plan is not to create a new currency, but to replace part of the notes and coins in circulation with a digital version of the yuan.  The currency will be i
China’s digital money goes into large-scale testing
China’s big four state-owned commercial banks have started large-scale internal testing of what would be the world’s first sovereign digital currency, according to mainland media.  The state-owned commercial banks are working on the digital yuan with the central bank in major cities, including the southern tech hub of Shenzhen, the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald reported on Thursday. Different from decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, Beijing’s digital currency is expected to give the government more power in tracing the movement of money within the second-biggest economy. Instead of allowing transactions to happen outside of a central authority – like what bitcoin does
A $4.57 million meal with Warren Buffett was ‘priceless,’ crypto founder says
The man who spent $4.57 million to have a meal with Warren Buffett finally got to enjoy his sit-down with the legendary investor.  Chinese cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun Yuchen had to postpone the lunch with the Berkshire Hathaway chairman last year because of a kidney stones issue. When they finally met, it was for dinner.  Sun's $4.57 million bid was enough to win the opportunity at a charity auction in June last year but postponed it, first citing health issues and then apologizing to the public for overhyping the plan to dine with one of the world’s richest people. Sun thanked Buffett for his dinner, wisdom and vision. “$4.56 million for a $515.05 dinner was money well spent! Th
China is launching its own digital currency. No, it’s nothing like Bitcoin
The Chinese government wants to build its own digital currency, but it is unlikely to experience the investment frenzy that launched Bitcoin into the mainstream. The central bank official in charge of the project said the new currency, developed under a project known as the Digital Currency Electronic Payment, would not be open to speculation like other cryptocurrencies, disappointing would-be speculators. Mu Changchun, head of the People’s Bank of China’s digital currency research institute, on Saturday said it would be “a digital form of the yuan,” China’s official currency. There would be no speculation on its value and it would not need the backing of a basket of currencies, according t
Xi Jinping sent Chinese investors into blockchain frenzy
Chinese stocks associated with blockchain jumped after President Xi Jinping extolled the technology popularized by Bitcoin. Dozens of Chinese financial and technology firms making use of the digital database rose to their daily 10% limit on Monday. It was the first day of trading in China after Chinese state media reported on Friday evening Xi’s speech urging the development of blockchain technology. Xi’s remarks represented a stamp of approval from the highest level of China’s government of blockchain, potentially accelerating and widening the application of the technology in industries including banking and supply chain management. A blockchain is akin to a digital ledger, allowing users t
As Trump disses Libra, China could be learning from it
Donald Trump said he is not a fan of bitcoin and Facebook’s proposed new digital currency, Libra.  But in China, the Libra proposal could prompt the government to speed up the development of the country’s homegrown cryptocurrencies.  ....Similarly, Facebook Libra’s “virtual currency” will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National... — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019 In a recent speech, China’s former central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan suggested Beijing could learn from Facebook and Hong Kong’s currency
Facebook’s crypto, Libra, is rattling China’s central bank
Facebook’s plans to create its own cryptocurrency, called Libra, have forced China’s central bank to step up its game in developing its own digital currency. Facebook says Libra will let consumers send money around the world easily, but the project has raised regulatory questions at home and in several other countries. A People’s Bank of China official said Libra could challenge the country’s monetary policy and even financial sovereignty, and has forced the Chinese government to speed up research into creating a version of digital currency it can control. “If [Libra] is widely used for payments – cross-border payments in particular – would it be able to function like money and accordingly h
The man who paid $4.57 million to lunch with Warren Buffett
A Chinese entrepreneur made a record bid to have lunch with Warren Buffett, hoping to woo the American billionaire and Bitcoin skeptic. Justin Sun, the founder of a cryptocurrency platform called Tron, said Tuesday that he won a charity auction to lunch with Buffett with his $4.57 million bid. I officially announce I’ve won the record-setting 20th-anniversary charity lunch hosted by @WarrenBuffett. I’ll also invite #blockchain industry leaders to meet with a titan of investment. I hope this benefits everyone. #TRON #TRX #BTT #BitTorrent — Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) June 3, 2019 The bid represents one of the 28-year-old Tron CEO’s costliest attempts to promote his
North Korean hackers found stealing from Bitcoin hodlers
North Korean hackers have taken to stealing cryptocurrency from individual investors as part of a new strategy by Pyongyang to blunt the impact of international sanctions. The targeting of individuals holding virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, known as hodlers, marks a departure from its previous methods, which have targeted exchanges and financial institutions. (Hodler is a misspelling-turned-jargon used to describe investors who hold on to a digital asset despite its falling market value.) Analysts say the shift shows Pyongyang is seeking a new source of income as it buckles under sanctions targeting its illicit nuclear weapons program. “Previously, hackers directly attacked exchanges,”
Chinese cops bust $1.5 billion World Cup crypto gambling ring
Chinese police have broken up an illegal World Cup gambling ring hosting more than $1.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency bets. It’s the the first major sports betting crime involving digital money in the country. Police in southern Guangdong province said in an online statement on Thursday that they had apprehended six major suspects of the syndicate, frozen about $750,000 in their bank accounts, and seized more than $1.5 million worth of cryptocurrencies they own. The gambling platform ran on the so-called dark web, which isn’t indexed by traditional search engines. It only accepted cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, according to Guangdong police. During the eight mont