A state-run newspaper in China has published a front-page story hailing Bitcoin as the first successful application of blockchain technology.
The praise marks a significant shift in Beijing’s stance towards the cryptocurrency and comes as the country prepares to launch its own digital currency.
Monday’s edition of Xinhua went into detail about how Bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology works, describing it as “one of the hottest topics in recent years”.
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China has been slow to acknowledge the potential benefits of cryptocurrency compared to other countries and has typically taken a hardline attitude towards the industry.
In September 2017, as Bitcoin was heading towards its record high price, Beijing introduced a ban on all cryptocurrency exchanges to prevent citizens from purchasing digital currencies with Chinese yuan.
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1/8 Satoshi Nakamoto creates the first Bitcoin block in 2009
On 3 January, 2009, the genesis block of Bitcoin appeared. It came less than a year after the pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto detailed the cryptocurrency in a paper titled ‘Bitcoin: A peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’
2/8 Bitcoin is used as a currency for the first time
3/8 Silk Road opens for business
Bitcoin soon gained notoriety for its use on the dark web. The Silk Road marketplace, established in 2011, was the first of hundreds of sites to offer illegal drugs and services in exchange for Bitcoin
4/8 The first Bitcoin ATM appears
5/8 The fall of MtGox
The world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange, MtGox, filed for bankruptcy in February 2014 after losing almost 750,000 of its customers Bitcoins. At the time, this was around 7 per cent of all Bitcoins and the market inevitably crashed
6/8 Would the real Satoshi Nakamoto please stand up
In 2015, Australian police raided the home of Craig Wright after the entrepreneur claimed he was Satoshi Nakamoto. He later rescinded the claim