China is actually fully committed to digital currencies and blockchain technology, but only its brand that it can control, Andreessen Horowitz general partner Katie Haun told CNBC on Thursday.
The Chinese government’s five-year plan drafted earlier this year for the first time mentioned blockchain, which is the decentralized digital ledger technology that underpins cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
However, she stressed that Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials “are all in on their brand of crypto, which is a closed permission system. Kind of at odds with the open, decentralized protocols we see as the future of the crypto system.”
China’s most recent actions to restrict bitcoin mining in the country and apply pressure to financial services firms against providing crypto-related services has weighed on sentiment in crypto markets.
Bitcoin on Tuesday fell below $30,000 — and, at one point even further, briefly losing all of its 2021 gains. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has recovered somewhat, trading at nearly $34,000 on Thursday.