The crypto world continues to wait to see what China’s proposed Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) would be like, as unconfirmed rumors fly around. However, a top official in the Chinese government recently shared his opinion of the asset and how it performs.
Adoption Is Up to Citizens
Earlier this week, Ma Changchun, the head of the Digital Currency Research Institute at the People’s Bank of China, clarified that the government won’t force adoption of its new asset. In an article published concerning the asset, he explained that adoption would be a choice, as they were letting the forces of demand and supply dictate the asset’s future.
“We designed the digital RMB (renminbi) from the needs of the people, and also realized the issuance and use of the digital RMB from a market-oriented perspective,” he wrote in part.
The article addressed several other parts of the asset, including its effect on top payment processors in China. Many have feared that a CBDC could mean that platforms like Alipay and WeChatPay will become obsolete, considering that a significant portion of Chinese adults uses electronic payments.
However, the institute director explained that this wouldn’t be the case. He pointed out that the new digital asset will work with these payment processors so that merchants will have more payment options. He added that there are times when Alipay and WeChatPay could experience service interruptions. In cases like these, the CBDC could step in as a backup.
Besides these, the article explained that the digital currency wouldn’t require a bank account for use. So, China’s unbanked population and residents of remote areas will be able to use the asset. The asset will also be able to function offline, and it will be available via prepaid cards for users who don’t have smartphones.
On the anonymity issue, the article also addressed the need to monitor money laundering and financial crime. To implement this, the government appears to be setting a threshold for transfers. Large payments will need to be verified with a government-issued means of identification. “As long as you can prove your identity, you can use it as an account. For example, your license plate number can become a sub-wallet of digital RMB. When you pay through the highway or parking, this is the general account system concept,” the article read.
A Seamless Launch on the Horizon
As Mu highlighted, the bank’s objective will be to prevent crime and ensure privacy protection at the same time. It’s undebatable that China’s digital asset will be one of the most important cryptocurrencies. With reports concerning its capability and a government willing to maximize its reach as much as it can, this asset could provide to be the most significant in the world – perhaps after Bitcoin.
The Chinese government already tested it in several regions of the country. However, Glenn Woo, Ledger Vault’s head of the Asia-Pacific region, projects a quiet launch. Speaking with Cointelegraph earlier this week, Woo explained that China has led the world in CBDC development and will be the first to issue its national cryptocurrency. However, he also forecasted that the government could launch without anyone knowing.
The crypto expert further added that China could incorporate the asset into its existing digital payment rails. Thus, the asset’s introduction will cause minimal disruption and improve the government’s control into the country’s retail space.