Li Bo, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China (usually abbreviated to “PBoC” or “PBC”) recently called Bitcoin ($BTC) an “investment alternative.”

According to a report by The Block, when asked last Sunday — during a panel hosted by CNBC at the Boao Forum for Asia — if China intended to maintain its stance on crypto trading, Li replied:

We regard Bitcoin and stablecoins as crypto assets. Crypto assets, as Agustin just discussed, these are investment alternatives, they are not currency per se. The main role we see for crypto assets, going forward, their main role is investment alternative.

He then added:

As for investment alternatives, many countries, including China are still looking into it and thinking about what kind of regulatory requirements – maybe minimal but we need to have some kind of regulatory requirements – to prevent the speculative nature of such assets [from creating] any serious financial stability risks. And before we have a clear idea what kind of regulation we need, I think we will keep our current regulation.”

Per a report by CNBC, Li’s remarks could be signalling a change in tone from the PBC.

Vijay Ayyar, head of business development at cryptocurrency exchange Luno, told CNBC:

I think it is quite significant and is definitely different to their previous statements or positions on public cryptocurrencies.

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