Zhou Xiaochuan, a former governor of the People’s Bank of China, said today that some cryptocurrencies have forfeited their opportunity to return to use as methods of payment.

Fast Facts:

  • Zhou said today on a video call to the Lujiazui Forum in Shanghai that cryptocurrencies — from the perspective of their initial design — could be a useful payment tool that served the real economy. But he said there were shortcomings in the early stages of those designs, such as the nature of their decentralization, which emphasized deregulation.
  • He said that if those behind cryptocurrencies were pursuing quick profits, that would turn cryptos into digital or encrypted assets. “Looking at it now, some cryptocurrencies have lost the opportunity to return to the payment field,” he said. “They’re no longer suitable.”
  • China has taken a tough approach to the cryptocurrency sector, with recent moves including crypto mining bans in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Qinghai, as well as a nationwide clampdown on scams related to cryptocurrency and the filing of money laundering charges.