China passes cryptography law as it gears up for digital currency

China’s proposed new digital currency would be able to be used across major payment platforms. (Photo/Social media)
Updated 28 October 2019

China passes cryptography law as it gears up for digital currency

  • China’s proposed new digital currency would bear some similarities to Facebook Inc.’s Libra coin
  • China’s cryptography law, WHICH takes effect on Jan. 1, is meant to facilitate the development of the cryptography business

BEIJING: China’s Parliament has passed a new law on cryptography as the country gears up to launch its own digital currency, state media reported late on Saturday.

China’s central bank set up a research team in 2014 to explore launching its own digital currency to cut the costs of circulating traditional paper money and boost policymakers’ control of money supply.

China’s proposed new digital currency would bear some similarities to Facebook Inc.’s Libra coin and would be able to be used across major payment platforms such as WeChat and Alipay, a senior central bank official said last month.

China’s cryptography law, which takes effect on Jan. 1, is aimed at “facilitating the development of the cryptography business and ensuring the security of cyberspace and information,” the official Xinhua news agency said.

The law states that the state encourages and supports the research and application of science and technology in cryptography and ensures confidentiality.

Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency has sparked concerns among global regulators that it could quickly become a dominant form of digital payment and a channel for money laundering given the social network's massive cross-border reach.

Libra will be a digital currency backed by a reserve of real-world assets, including bank deposits and short-term government securities, and held by a network of custodians. Its structure is intended to foster trust and stabilize the price.

Like other cryptocurrencies, Libra transactions will be powered and recorded by a blockchain, which is a shared ledger of transactions maintained by a network of computers.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said last week that the country should accelerate the development of blockchain technology as a core for innovation.


Saudi Arabia, Iraq confirm full commitment to OPEC+ agreement- statement

Updated 34 min 56 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, Iraq confirm full commitment to OPEC+ agreement- statement

  • Both countries ministers said efforts by OPEC+ to meet their output cuts will enhance market stability

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Iraq on Monday confirmed their full commitment to the OPEC+ agreement.
Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, and Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail held discussions on developments in the oil markets, the improved global demand for oil, and progress in implementing the current OPEC+ agreement to reduce production.
OPEC and its allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, agreed to cut oil output from May by a record 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) after the coronavirus crisis destroyed a third of global demand.
The record cuts are now due to run to the end of July, before tapering to 7.7 million bpd until December.
But some OPEC members have not fully delivered on their agreed production cuts since May.
During a phone call, the Saudi minister commended Iraq’s performance within the framework of the agreement, as the country’s level of commitment in June reached nearly 90 percent.
Prince Abdulaziz thanked the Iraqi minister for his efforts in reaching the target, and expressed his confidence that Iraq will continue to improve its level of compliance with the oil cuts.
Ismail said Iraq would continue to improve compliance with the cuts to reach 100 percent by the start of August, pledging to compensate from July to September for the overproduction in May and June.
Both ministers also said that efforts by OPEC+, and the participating countries in the agreement, to meet their output cuts would enhance market stability and speed up their balanced recovery.

  • With Reuters