Mainland China’s Largest Bank Embraces Ethereum as “Digital Oil”

 June 14, 2024

By Anjali Kochhar

Unexpectedly, the Beijing-based Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has praised Ethereum’s transformational potential, comparing it to “digital oil” in a recent paper. Notwithstanding China’s strict cryptocurrency laws, the bank’s recognition of Ethereum’s importance is a noteworthy turning point in the global use of digital assets.

Founded in 1984, ICBC stands as one of the world’s largest banks, offering a comprehensive array of banking services. While adhering to China’s crypto regulations and refraining from direct involvement in crypto transactions, ICBC’s report signifies a growing recognition of the value and utility of blockchain technology.

The report highlights Bitcoin’s meteoric rise, drawing parallels between its scarcity and resilience to that of gold in the digital economy. Both Bitcoin and gold have reached all-time highs this year, solidifying their positions as premier investment assets.

However, the spotlight of ICBC’s report shines on Ethereum, characterizing it as “digital oil” for its pivotal role in powering an array of Web3 crypto financial applications and programs. The bank commends Ethereum’s ongoing technological advancements in security, scalability, and sustainability, which have propelled its exposure and adoption worldwide.

This endorsement from ICBC has stirred conversations among crypto enthusiasts, underscoring the enduring interest of mainland Chinese banks and institutions in blockchain technology, despite the blanket ban imposed by the country’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC).

Moreover, it reflects a broader sentiment among the Chinese population towards cryptocurrencies. Over the past year, reports from local media outlets have confirmed a burgeoning trend of mainland Chinese individuals visiting Hong Kong-based offline stores to engage in the buying and selling of crypto assets, indicating a grassroots enthusiasm for digital currencies despite regulatory challenges.

ICBC’s acknowledgment of Ethereum’s importance highlights the increasing integration of blockchain technology into traditional financial infrastructure, paving the way for more innovation and uptake in the years to come as the world of digital banking continues to change.

About the author

Anjali Kochhar covers cryptocurrency stories in India as well as globally. Having been in the field of media and journalism for over three years now, she has developed a sharp news sense and works hard to present information that goes beyond the obvious. She is an avid reader and loves writing on a wide range of subjects.

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