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.


Britain’s ITV set for solid end to the year after Q3 advertising grows

Updated 2 min 37 sec ago

Britain’s ITV set for solid end to the year after Q3 advertising grows

  • ITV Studios division is forecast to deliver at least 5% growth over the year

LONDON: British broadcaster ITV said advertising revenue came in at the top end of the range in the third quarter and demand for programming, particularly in the US, would underpin a solid end to the year.
Shares in ITV are up more than 27% in the last three months after the home to the X Factor and Coronation Street reported half-year results in July that showed the group was performing better than expected.
Advertiser demand for programs such as hit dating show Love Island and the Rugby World Cup have helped to boost overall revenue while its ITV Studios division is forecast to deliver at least 5% growth over the year.
England’s run to the final of the World Cup in Japan also helped viewing figures.
Advertising revenue was up 1% in the third quarter, at the top end of a range of down 1% to up 1%, and it is forecast to be between flat and up 1% in the final quarter.
“On screen and online viewing performed well with highlights including four of the five highest rating new dramas so far this year and the Rugby World Cup which saw a peak audience of 12.8 million viewers during the final,” Chief Executive Carolyn McCall said.
The group reiterated the rest of its outlook for cost savings, program production growth and online growth.