The People’s Bank of China, China’s central baking institutions, has come out to refute the widespread claims that it is working on issuing a native cryptocurrency in the coming months.
According to a report from local news medium Global Times, the People’s Bank released an official statement last Saturday, essentially branding al reports that linked it to the launch of an official cryptocurrency as being “inaccurate speculations.”
The reports have actually been quite extensive, with several new outlets, including Forbes announcing as far back as last month that the PBOC was working towards a state-backed cryptocurrency.
In its account, Forbes cited an unnamed independent researcher, who reportedly claimed that the cryptocurrency would be issued to seven major institutions within the coming months. The institutions include Alibaba, Tencent, Union Pay (an association of Chinese banking bodies), the Agricultural Bank of China, the Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the China Construction Bank.
A separate source reportedly also claimed that the underlying technology for the asset has been available for over a year now, and that the asset will be rolled out on November 11; a day which has been marked as Singles Day in China, and which is known as the busiest shopping day in the country. The People’s Bank has now come out to deny such claims.
No one seems to know for sure
The denial remains the latest development in the round of speculations surrounding China and cryptocurrencies. Ever since the country outlawed cryptocurrency trading an Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) almost two years ago, many believer that it was hoping to create a digital currency, and thus, was working to ensure that Bitcoin (or really, any other pre-existing digital asset, for that matter) would not be a competitor to it.
It is also worth noting that many influential people within the Chinese financial landscape have called for the introduction of digital tokens. Zhou Xiaochuan, the former Governor of the People’s Bank, famously said back in July that enabling commercial entities to issue digital version of the Yuan will be beneficial to China, as it will increase the strength of the currency, especially in the face of the threat that is posed by projects such as Facebook’s Libra stablecoin.
Brace up for a digital token
Regardless of that, the PBOC also reiterated that while a digital token will be coming out soon, enthusiasts should refrain from getting information from anywhere other than its official statements. A progress report was confirmed to be on the way, and the financial institution reiterated that only such reports should be held with an ounce of veracity.
The agency also gave a few snippets about its planned digital currency, saying that it will be legal, centralized, and digital, and that it will be backed by the government. It will also help to complement the Yuan, with its applications staying primarily within the retail payment sector.
The launch of a crypto asset in China will be quite a big deal, considering the country’s economic strength and tech-savvy population. It would, however, seem that the government isn’t taking the conventional route to launch one. For now, we can only rely on updates given by the PBOC.