After court cases in several cities and the adoption of a bill on Friday, China is one step closer to issuing the world’s first digital currency.
The People’s Bank of China is to issue the country’s sovereign digital currency, officially known as the Digital Currency Electronic Payment System. The payments can be exchanged like cash, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday.
China’s DCEP will have no domestic competitors, said Mu Changchun, head of the digital currency research department at China’s central bank. Services in China, including WeChat Pay and Alipay, are only electronic wallets, the official said, the Post said.
The “centralized management of DCEP will be good to fight crypto currencies and global stable coins and prevent their erosion of currency issuing rights,” Mu said.
China’s central bank “will face counterfeit protection problems even in the digital age and … reduce the “cost” of use for citizens across the technological divide, the official said.
The Chinese government has reportedly conducted trials with digital currency in four cities. In Shenzhen, a major Chinese city adjacent to Hong Kong, the authorities issued $1.5 million worth of digital currency in 50,000 packages to residents, which is about $30 per package. According to China Central Television, 3,389 designated businesses were able to receive the gift earlier this month.