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Jack Ma Believes Digital Currencies Are a Solution to Future Problems

With the majority of China’s vast government spending copious amounts of time and money into pushing for the development of blockchain technology, it was only a matter of time before the company’s corporations began expressing their interest in the new technology. This was the main theme at the “Second Bund Financial Summit,” organized this weekend by the China Financial Forty Forum (CF40).

The most high-profile speaker to be featured at the event was no other than Jack Ma, one of the richest man in China, who just stepped down from his role as the chairman of Alibaba, the global tech giant he founded 20 years ago. Ma attended the conference and delivered a well-received speech as the co-chair of the United Nations High-level Digital Cooperation Group.

And while most of his speech centered around Ant Financial’s latest IPO and the general state of China’s financial market, a few minutes into it Ma touched on the topic of digital currencies and blockchain technology. According to reports from Sina Finance, Ma used the example of digital currencies to highlight the importance of building future-proof systems that can exist several decades into the future.

“Take digital currencies as an example. If the financial system that the world needs in 30 years can now be built with a vision for the future, the digital currency as such will be its core component,” he explained.

Ma went on to say that he believes the world is due for a new financial system. Such a system, he explained, won’t be very different than the current one, but it will be evaluated using very different criteria. Instead of valuing a financial system by its throughput, the financial market of the future will be valued on how inclusive, green, and sustainable it is.

Achieving all of these things is possible through technologies such as big data, cloud computing, and blockchain, he went on to explain.

“Digital currency systems aren’t a technical problem—they’re a solution to future problems,” he said. “Digital currencies have the potential to redefine currencies—despite the fact that they retain the function of currencies, it will redefine them just like Apple redefined the mobile phone industry.”

According to Ma, Apple’s flagship iPhone took the idea of a phone and brought it to a whole new level, a thing which he expects digital currencies will do in the years to come.

However, despite his praises for the new asset class and the technology that underlies it, Ma didn’t differentiate between central bank digital currencies and the rest of the crypto industry. With the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) looking to prohibit the use of “non-official” digital currencies in the country, the question arises of what Jack Ma’s vision of a digital economy will look like. If the PBoC goes through with the proposed ban, we could see a strong digital economy in China rise from the heavy use of the government-issued and controlled digital yuan. 

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