Chinese billionaire Jack Ma yesterday said that a modern global financial structure could include digital currencies — and said that global regulation was holding it back.
Jack Ma on “Digital Currencies”
Bloomberg announced today that Ma, the founder of Alibaba, made remarks on digital currencies during the Bund Summit in Shanghai.
Digital currencies could be important in building a financial system for the next 30 years, Ma said.
“Digital currency could create value and we should think about how to establish a new type of financial system through digital currency,” stated Ma.
It was unclear that Ma, reportedly worth $61 billion, specifically means by saying “digital currency”. He may be referring to cryptocurrencies or state-created digital currencies.
Crypto Figureheads Speculate
The cryptocurrency community was abuzz after Ma’s speech, as one would anticipate. Many speculated about what Ma was specifically referring to with regards to the world of cryptocurrency.
Changpeng Zhao of Binance immediately about the impact of Ma’s speech.
Amazing speech by Jack Ma. Not easy to be so openly commenting on regulations in China. Talked a lot about cryptocurrency and the future. It’s in Chinese, not sure of there is an English transcription available. https://t.co/NX5jTpi3NU
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) October 25, 2020
Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder, immediately questioned Zhao about what Ma meant by “digital currency”.
By 数字货币 does he mean "cryptocurrency" or much more watered-down forms of centralized digital currency though?
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) October 25, 2020
Zhao would respond by stating that “the meaning is up to interpretation.”
Alibaba and Founder Jack Ma
Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a Chinese global technology corporation specialized in e-commerce, distribution, Internet, and technology, also branded as the Alibaba Group and as Alibaba.com.
Created in Hangzhou, Zhejiang by founder Jack Ma on 4 April 1999, the organization offers online portals for consumer-to-consumer (C2C), business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) distribution services, as well as electronic payment, search engine shopping and cloud storage services.
It is one of the top 10 most profitable companies. On the Forbes Global 2000 2020 ranking, it is ranked the world’s 31st largest public firm.
Alibaba, following its rival Tencent, became the second Asian corporation to crack the US$ 500 billion valuation mark in January 2018. Alibaba has the sixth-highest global brand valuation as of 2020.
Ma has mentioned cryptocurrencies before but never to the capacity of what he described in his recent speech.
What do you think Jack Ma meant by “digital currencies”? Was he trying to sidestep Chinese regulations?