Chinese president shills CBDCs
On July 4, Xinhua News Agency, China’s state broadcaster, published a transcript of President Xi Jinping’s address to the 2023 Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit. The SCO is one of the world’s largest regional organizations for political, economic and security cooperation, and was established by China and Russia in 2001.
During the speech, President Xi welcomed Iran as a full organisation member and praised the move for Belarus to join. He also talked up the importance of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs):
“The Chinese side proposes to expand the share of local currency settlements of SCO countries, expand sovereign digital currency cooperation, and promote the establishment of SCO development banks.”
In January, the People’s Bank of China reported that there were 13.61 billion digital yuan CBDCs in circulation, representing around 0.13% of the monetary supply. Since then, the CBDC’s use has expanded to the country’s Belt and Road Initiative, various consumer airdrops, and as a means of payment for everyday transportation. However, experts have warned that, despite the constant promotion, the currency has struggled to gain traction.
On July 10, local news outlet East Money reported that a SIM card linked to the digital yuan CBDC will soon be available to Chinese consumers. Because the digital yuan CBDC digital wallet is embedded in the SIM card itself, individuals can pay for their phone bills via a point-of-sale machine even if their phone has no power.
Chinese president Xi Jinping during the Shanghai Cooperation Summit (CCTV)
Hong Kong crypto licensing costs surge to HK$100M
According to a July 5 report by Tencent News, the combined labor, material and technical cost associated with obtaining a Hong Kong crypto exchange license has surged to 100 million Hong Kong dollars ($12.77 million) since its inception on June 1.
However, even if the infrastructure is in place, insiders noted that the…