According to reports by Chinese media, Tencent issued an internal notice informing employees it was searching for someone to head a new cryptocurrency research unit, which will form part of the company’s payments wing.
The new team will look at how to use digital currencies in its payments platform as well as explore other possible business applications. It will also consider how cryptocurrencies could be used within existing and future regulatory regimes.
The research team will reportedly support government initiatives in the area. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is said to view Tencent as a prospective issuer for the digital yuan under development, according to reports in Quartz and CNBC. Reports suggest the new Tencent unit will work on developing the government’s pilot digital currency plan in the city of Shenzhen.
Tencent has not denied the reports, but neither has it provided additional information about the research unit nor responded to Chinese media requests for comment. It is unclear whether the team would also consider creating a new cryptocurrency, or focus on supporting applications for the new digital yuan.
Tencent’s WeChat Pay is one of the largest payment processors in the world, making up nearly 40 percent of China’s multi-trillion dollar mobile payments industry. More than 900 million people used WeChat Pay in 2017, according to Business Insider. coindesk.com