Governments around the world are exploring the viability of digital currency. According to the BIS, 80 percent of the world’s central banks have already started to conceptualize and research the potential of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), 40 percent are building proofs-of-concept (PoC), and 10 percent are deploying pilot projects.
China is at the forefront and is expected to launch the world’s first CBDC. Its sovereign digital currency program, dubbed Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP), has launched one of the largest real-world trials in several cities over the last few months. By May 2020, China had already filed more than 120 patent applications for its official digital currency (alternately referred to as digital yuan in this article), more than any other country.