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.


Dubai announces $136 million extra stimulus package

Updated 24 October 2020

Dubai announces $136 million extra stimulus package

  • The announcement takes Dubai's total stimulus measures this year to 6.8 billion dirhams

DUBAI: Dubai has announced a new 500 million dirhams ($136.14 million) stimulus package to support the local economy, taking Dubai's total stimulus measures this year to 6.8 billion dirhams, the crown prince of the emirate said on Twitter on Saturday.
"The private sector is a major partner in Dubai's development process, and we have adopted a set of new exemptions for some fees and a reduction in rents for some sectors, as well as an extension of the validity of a previous set of exemptions from fees," said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum.