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China will pursue digital yuan, central bank says

Image by Adrian Korte from Flickr

Wed, 08 Apr 2020, 06:52 am UTC

The central bank of China announced that the country planned to create a digital version of its fiat currency, yuan, Coindesk reported citing www.gov.cn.

The central bank released a summary of the 2020 National Currency Gold Silver and Security Work Video and Telephone Conference convened on Friday by Yifei Fan, the central bank’s vice-governor. Among the goals of the event was to lay the priorities for the bank in the coming year and pursue digital yuan.

“The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) will undoubtedly further its research and development of the national digital currency with enhanced top-down design,” the bank said.

The annual meeting mentioned the digitized yuan or Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP). It was the third time the digitized yuan was acknowledged which indicated a firmer stance on the project.

In 2018, the central bank said that it would pursue the project at a “steady pace.“ In 2019, the bank said that it would “accelerate” the process and take a closer look at the trend in the crypto space locally and globally.

In March, China was a step closer to releasing its own central bank digital currency (CBDC). PBoC has started working with private companies and they have completed the basic functions of the sovereign digital currency. At present, they are drafting relevant laws to pave the way for its circulation.

“Judging from the patents, the first step of technological development has been basically completed,” an industry insider who is familiar with the matter said.

Meanwhile, Cao Yan, managing director of Digital Renaissance Foundation, wants the central bank to accelerate the launch of CBDC. He believes that it can help amid the coronavirus outbreak. Also, the Swiss-based institution Bank of International Settlement (BIS) favors CBDCs and digital payments amid the COVID-19 pandemic because contactless payments help curb the spread of the virus.

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