A researcher at the People's Bank of China (PBoC) has said it is "crucial" that the country gets a central bank-issued cryptocurrency as soon as possible.
According to a report by South China Morning Post, Yao Qian, who leads cryptocurrency research for China's central bank, explained the importance of introducing digital legal tender at a forum in Beijing, Saturday. Such a move, he said, would help in cutting transaction costs and expanding financial services to rural areas, while also increasing the efficiency of the PBoC's monetary policies.
Qian remarked at the event that "the development of digital economy needs central bank-issued electronic currency more than ever."
Calling digital legal tender the "jewel in the crown" of the fintech industry, Qian argued that it would have a great impact on the future of finance.
"It's crucial to speed up the research and issuance."
The comments come after reports earlier this year, which indicated that the PBoC is already trialing its own digital currency.
While apparently keen on creating a centrally governed cryptocurrency, China famously banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) in mid-September - a move soon followed by the closure of cryptocurrency exchanges amid the tightening regulatory environment.
PBoC image via Shutterstock