Bitcoin's price climbed sharply over last weekend after Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a speech embracing blockchain technology, for the first time in his administration.
The value of Bitcoin, the most famous and influential cryptocurrency, rose to $10,332 last Saturday, across multiple trading platforms. The price has since lowered to around $9,000 and less as of this Monday and Tuesday morning.
Speaking as part of the 18th collective study of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee on Thursday in Beijing, Xi said "blockchain technology has a wide array of applications within China, listing topics ranging from financing businesses to mass transit and poverty alleviation."
China's official state-owned news agency, Xinhua, quoted Xi as praising blockchain would play "an important role in the next round of technological innovation and industrial transformation."
Xi also stated that China wanted to gain an "edge" over other major nations in the field of "blockchain research and development."
His speech also called for the creation of "Blockchain+," a platform alluding to personal development such as education, employment and food and medicinal safety, among other basic needs.
At the meantime, even before the ground-breaking official speech, China's central bank, the People's Bank of China (PBOC), has been devoting tremendous time and efforts to an official Chinese digital currency. PBOC has accelerated its development since early 2019 as Facebook
The highly controversial Libra has come under intense scrutiny from the congress and other regulators. Many are concerned that Facebook's proposed digital asset would disrupt the financial system and could increase vulnerabilities to risks including money laundering and trafficking.
Blockchain is widely known as a form of encrypted ledger. With each transaction, the chain grows but all previous records are stored and are verifiable.
The United States and China are currently engaged in a tech war over companies like Huawei and technology such as 5G, and any advancement of China's strength in blockchain could open up a new front in the competition.