Joseph Lubin, the Co-Founder of Ethereum and leader of the ConsenSys project, stated that he has high hopes that the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) of China will foster interoperability with public permissionless blockchains like Ethereum.

Lubin offered his thoughts during an interview with Forbes over the weekend. He referred to Ethereum as a “very positive virus” and explained that he assumed “it is going to be exactly what Chinese leadership thinks is most beneficial to the Chinese leadership. Hopefully, that’s also open and we can interoperate with it, but I don’t know.”

Increased Participation

Enhanced participation from China in the Ethereum platform would certainly be a positive for the entire ecosystem, and Lubin seems to agree, stating that he would love for that to happen. He used the example of Belt and Road commerce platform based on blockchain and said that it currently implements a weak technology, paling in comparison to public ones such as Ethereum.

“I would love to help China get experts in Ethereum technology. […] The main idea is that Ethereum is the strongest of the blockchain technologies and it’s a very positive virus to implant in people’s minds,” was his exact quote on the matter.

The co-founder of one of the biggest public blockchains in the whole world also observed that he expects that China will keep trying to undermine the American dollar’s position as the planet’s reserve currency, but he also seems to think that the Asian powerhouse’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) will not have a huge impact on that situation.

Lubin also said that both China and another influential country when it comes to world politics, Russia, are trying hard to conduct business without having to use the U.S. dollar. Whether they will succeed on that front remains to be seen, however.

Lubin concluded that “there are lots of reasons why American influence is shrinking and will probably continue to shrink. That may not be a bad thing but in some ways, it’ll be a bad thing. China’s particular cryptocurrency I don’t think is a major factor.”

Deep Packet Inspection: the Key

Recently, China and its authorities have been on the news because they clearly do not want any other digital assets to compete with its own. Ethereum (ETC) is included in that situation. Lubin said that the ability to stifle them depends on the motivation and that the government’s ability to obstruct people’s access to these currencies will also have to do with progress in deep packet inspection techniques.

Of course, it is clear that the Chinese government can do whatever it wants to, and those were the exact words Lubin used to refer to that situation. He notes, however, that the ever-changing technology landscape has provided people with more tools to bypass censorship, such as mesh networking and satellite-blockchain streaming.

The interviewer asked Lubin if he believed that the implementation of the CBDC in the nation could ruin or interfere with the benefits of the blockchain and control every transaction performed by citizens, and he replied that “China is a business that writes its own rules and has an enormous customer base — 1.4 billion people. That’s a tough economic force to compete with. I do think there’s instability. I think leaders are constantly terrified of revolution, so they have to keep the people relatively happy at some baseline level.”

By Andres Chavez


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