Chinese Digital Currency Goes Into Beta

Well, this is quite exciting. The first reports have appeared concerning the Digital Currency/Electronic Payment (DC/EP) system being tested in four cities: Shenzen, , Chengdu, Suzhou and Xiong’an. Xiong’an is the recently-established “development hub” near Beijing and it is where the “non-core” functions of the Chinese state are going to be relocated to.

DC/EP is the Chinese Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). What I thought most noticeable about the first implementations (this is from the Agricultural Bank of China, ABC) is that they include the person-to-person offline transfer functionality. This, as the Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China, Fan Yifei, said in an interview to Central Banking magazine, is so that thenew system "could attain a similar function of currency to cash… The public could use it directly for various purchases, and it would prove conducive to the yuan’s circulation".


with the kind permission of @molllliy

As I note in the book, this makes DC/EP look more like Mondex than Libra, so I was surprised to see the digital Yuan labelled “crypto-inspired” on Twitter!

© David G.W. Birch 2020