China’s Communist Party has reportedly appointed a Bitcoin (BTC) skeptic as the central bank’s party secretary, putting him in line to become the next governor.
According to a new report by the Wall Street Journal, Chinese leaders named central bank deputy governor Pan Gongsheng as the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) party secretary, the top Communist Party post.
Pan joined the PBOC in 2012 and became China’s foreign-exchange regulator in 2015. The report says that Pan will likely be appointed the bank’s governor after his promotion.
Pan is also in charge of the Leading Group of Internet Financial Risks Remediation, a group that is “clamping down on the use of cryptocurrency and regulating financial-technology companies in China.”
Pan has made critical comments regarding Bitcoin in the past.
During a 2017 event, Pan reportedly said, “If you sit by the river and watch, one day the corpse of Bitcoin will float in front of you.” He also spoke in support of China’s decision to crack down on Bitcoin trading.
Pan secured the appointment due to his international background and the expectation that he can have a productive relationship with global central-bank governors, according to the report.
Says Eswar Prasad, the International Monetary Fund’s former China division chief and now a professor of economics at Cornell University,
“Pan has the technical competence and the skills to navigate the PBOC through difficult terrain in providing support for economic growth, promoting market-oriented reforms in the financial sector, and managing risks in the banking system. These challenges are of course multiplied manifold by the political constraints the PBOC operates under.” The report highlights that Pan’s appointment comes at a time when “China’s economy, grappling with slowing growth, soaring debt levels and an aging population, is at a critical juncture.”Don't Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get email alerts delivered directly to your inbox
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