According to the publication China Daily, China’s cryptocurrency may be launching earlier than we thought. And, most notably, it may be launching before Facebook’s Project Libra, which isn’t scheduled until next year at the earliest.
“Multiple approaches are being tested for the launch of the first central bank digital currency in China,” it reports, citing officials and experts for the news.
As you may know, the currency is being launched by the People’s Bank of China, and has been spending around five years researching its asset for trading. Development didn’t start until 2018, however, which explains why they’re only going into the testing stages now.
Speaking to the publication is one Yang Dong, a Director at the Research Center of Finance Technology and Cyber Security and a Chinese University. “Further testing is needed before officially launching the Chinese CBDC, gaining inspiration from the Libra,” he says. “The next pilots should focus on the non-governmental and cross-border scenarios of using the CBDC. Multiple players, including private and State-owned companies, can join the process together with the central bank,” he continues.
Then, the Chairman of China UnionPay, Shao Fujun, spoke on the matter as well:
“It will have lots of positive impacts. Including tracking the money flow in economic activities and supporting making monetary policy.”
Mu Changchun, the deputy director of the payments department of the bank, spoke a little more on the development process and some struggles they may face:
“Where we are now is just like in a horserace, when several designated institutions are taking different technical routes for developing the digital currency and electronic payment. The winner will be the one who has the best approach, accepted by the public and the market. So that is a process of market competition.”
China will call its currency the CBDC, and we’ll have to see if it can compete with Libra.