The People's Bank of China is said to be preparing to launch pilots for its digital currency in at least two major cities.
As reportedhttp://yuanchuang.caijing.com.cn/2019/1209/4631892.shtml by Chinese financial news source Caijing on Monday, the central bank is "expected" to launch the tests of the fully digital yuan in Shenzhen and Suzhou. Other places may also see trials.
The tests are likely to include the participation of state-owned partners. These comprise the "Big Four" commercial banks – the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, China Construction Bank and the Agricultural Bank of China – and three telcos, China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom.
The pilots will see the digital currency, dubbed digital currency electronic payment (DCEP), applied in real-world scenarios such as transportation, education and healthcare, Caijing says. Partner banks will be able to design their own trials scenarios for DCEP.
The first of two pilot phases will be smaller scale and start at the end of 2019. The second, later in 2020, will be a larger-scale effort in Shenzhen, according to the report. If all goes well, a full launch of DCEP is expected soon after the pilots.
According to Caijing, DCEP would have some similarities to Libra, though the technical details are not spelled out. The report cites a PBoC official as having said that the digital currency is designed to replace physical cash in circulation (M0 in banking terminology), and will meet "the needs of portability and anonymity."
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.