China Passes First-Ever ‘Crypto Law’ Going Into Effect January 2020

The Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress in China has passed a new law regulating cryptography on Oct. 26 that will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, reports local news outlet CCTV. 

Per the report, the new regulatory framework aims to set standards for the application of cryptography and the management of passwords. The new regulatory framework establishes the role of a central cryptographic agency meant to lead public cryptographic work, creating guidelines and policies for the industry. 

Implicit cryptocurrency regulation

The draft of the law was published on May 7 by a Chinese news outlet. The text is largely focused on government centralized password management and does not explicitly mention cryptocurrency, though it does focus on cryptography, a key component underpinning cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Wan explained: 

“The key take away is — the developing of new cryptography, hashing algo, even the usage of the tech, will be in the official legal realm. This means you need to follow the CCP standard for all ‘encrypted’ behaviors, which can be VERY broad, from mining to block propagation.”

Preparing for China’s national crypto

She concluded that the law is building the foundation for the upcoming Chinese national cryptocurrency, though there is no official timetable for its launch, one Chinese official confirmed in September. 

As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, China’s President Xi Jinping has called for the country to accelerate its adoption of blockchain technologies. 

Meanwhile, this past week, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg warned that Chinese superiority in the digital currency space could put the U.S. dollar at risk in an attempt to sell lawmakers his plans for the Libra stablecoin.

"China is moving quickly to launch a similar idea in the coming months. We can't sit here and assume that because America is today the leader that it will always get to be the leader if we don't innovate,” he argued in an official statement.