China’s new cryptography law will take effect on 1 January 2020 and will help pave the way for the development of blockchain technologies.
The law aims to tackle emerging regulatory and legal challenges in commercial cryptography uses as they play an increasingly important role in developing the Chinese economy.
“Clear guidelines and regulations are needed to evaluate commercial cryptography technologies used in the major fields related to the national interest as the current ‘loose’ system is not suitable for the industry anymore,” according to the proposal released in July.
The new framework will set standards for the application of cryptography and the management of passwords. The framework will establish the role of a central cryptographic agency to lead public cryptographic work, creating guidelines and policies for the industry.
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While encouraging the development of blockchain, it is also hoped the law will help buildup an inclusive standardised regulatory system for the market and encourage nationwide educational efforts to promote cryptography, according to the government.
The announcement follows days after Chinese President Xi Jinping, called on the country to accelerate its development of blockchain technology as a core for innovation.
At present, cryptocurrency trading is banned in China and its own digital currency, which is currently being developed by a research team at China’ central bank, is not ready for launch. However, China is pushing to become more competitive in the global blockchain space and the law is designed to help facilitate that goal while maintaining its national security.
The Chinese government hopes its own digital currency will significantly reduce the cost of circulating traditional paper money and strengthen its control over the country’s money supply. China’s future digital offering could prove a serious contender to Facebook’s planned Libra cryptocurrency, which is due to launch next year.