A Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is a new form of Central Bank money accessible to the general public, accepted as a means of payment, legal tender, safe store of value by all citizens, businesses and government agencies.
Theoretically, a CBDC should enable cheap, secure and real-time transfer of value, be accessible without a bank account and be built on an open infrastructure to foster competition and innovation
The major economy leading the CBDC race in Asia (and in the whole world) is China. On August 14, China´s Ministry of Commerce announced that a pilot run of the country’s CBDC, the DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment) or Digital Yuan, would begin in several new areas soon, the Greater Bay Area (GBA) among them, including the two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. However, it was not specified when these tests would start.
This second phase of testing comes just a few months after the initial phase, which started in April, when, after several years of work (the research commenced in 2014), the Chinese Government announced that the digital yuan tests would start in four major cities (Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and Xiong’an), notwithstanding the COVID-19 crisis.