China’s Global Cryptocurrency May Be on the Horizon

While the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is still keeping a cryptocurrency-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) from debuting on a major U.S. exchange, over 7,000 miles away, China is looking to launch its own global cryptocurrency.

The news comes amid social media giant Facebook facing numerous obstacles trying to launch its own cryptocurrency project, dubbed “Lira,” in the U.S.

According to a CNBC report, the second largest economy “announced earlier this year that it was working on a digital currency backed by the yuan, reportedly inspired by Facebook’s announcement. Analysts and crypto industry leaders are highlighting geopolitical implications of China launching a digital currency first — especially if libra hits a brick wall with U.S. regulators.”

“China has been incredibly strategic about how they think about cryptocurrency,” said Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple. “They have been dependent on the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency — to the extent that other currencies emerge, and they can help propagate those, they’re intrigued by that.”

China has been more receptive to cryptocurrency efforts compared to its trade war counterpart. If Facebook encounters further regulatory obstacles, China could assume the mantle in terms of global crypto dominance.

“If U.S. regulators ultimately dismiss Libra and decide not to draft regulation to encourage Crypto innovation in the U.S., China’s [Central Bank Digital Currency] may be strategically positioned to become the de facto global digital currency in emerging economies, largely through Alipay, WeChat, UnionPay and other messaging & payment apps,” said RBC analysts Mark Mahaney and Zachary Schwartzman.

China is also expanding its technology sector as it looks to wean itself off of reliance from the U.S. Investors can look to China-focused ETFs for opportunities in their burgeoning tech sector.

  1. Invesco China Technology ETF (NYSEArca: CQQQ): CQQQ is based on the AlphaShares China Technology Index, which is designed to measure the performance of the investable universe of publicly-traded information technology companies open to foreign investment that are based in mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau.
  2. Global X MSCI China Information Technology ETF (CHIK): CHIK tries to reflect the performance of the large- and mid-capitalization segments of the MSCI China Index that are classified in the Information Technology Sector as per the Global Industry Classification System.
  3. KraneShares CSI China Internet Fund (NasdaqGM: KWEB): KWEB tracks a portfolio of Chinese internet and internet-related companies. The portfolio includes Chinese internet companies that provide similar services as Google, Facebook, Twitter, eBay and Amazon.

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