It seems like China is taking seriously the commitment to become a world leader in the blockchain field. According to a recent report by Global Times, a popular Chinese publication providing English material, the Ministry of Education announced on January 6th a plan on national teaching material for primary, middle, and higher education schools by 2022.
New textbooks announced
The country is currently drafting new textbooks “on cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, and cybersecurity for higher education institutions to cultivate talents that will meet national strategy needs in the digital age”, according to Global Times. This good news for the blockchain industry in the long-term, given that more experts could emerge from China.
News are mixed, since the same publication announced on its Twitter account that China had banned banks from providing payment channels and transaction accounts for blockchain and Bitcoin speculation. According to a Chinese Banking & Insurance regulatory official, the move aims to protect consumer interests.
In addition, there are still rumors of China preparing to launch a digital currency, but so far, there’s no official position on that matter.
Cryptocurrencies enjoying a positive start of the year
Despite the mixed news, cryptocurrencies had started the year on an upbeat tone, with Bitcoin currently trading around $8,300 at MGC Logic. Since January 3rd, the top cryptocurrency is up by more than $1,400, driving the entire market higher.
Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, had also had an impressive start of the week and looks poised to retest the key $150 resistance area. Litecoin trades 5% higher on a daily basis, EOS is up by 2%, and Chainlink, the 16th cryptocurrency by market cap, is up a staggering 16% for the past 24 hours.
Based on the market reactions seen so far in 2020, this year should not provide any major shift in the top ranking, with Bitcoin poised to be the leading market driver for yet another year. We must also mention that the fourth quarter of 2019 had been bad for cryptocurrencies, with investors moving to other financial markets, attracted by better returns.
However, same as gold, Bitcoin spiked higher after tensions in the Middle East sparked. Does this mean Bitcoin is a safe-haven asset? Too early to take a conclusion, but what we know for sure is that capital started to flow to cryptocurrencies when uncertainties started to mount on the global stock markets. With tensions set to continue, we could see Bitcoin and its peers continue to outperform other asset classes.