As more and more nation contributes to and depend on the global economy, the process associated with routing payments smoothly so that they can be monitored by the central banks becomes important. Over time, various types of digital payments were introduced to facilitate business and household transactions. However, a lot more is required to be done by Central Banks to help build trust in digital payments.
China, being the leader, has launched a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). An initiative was taken in September of 2020 to allow Digital Currency Electronic Payments (DC/EP). In simple words, the DC/EP is a digital version of the Chinese yuan backed by deposits held by the central bank. To take advantage of this form of digital payments, banks must replace a portion of yuan holdings with assets that are in digital form and then allocate it to businesses and the public using mobile technology.
In contrast, payments are also made using cryptocurrencies; what is different in DC/EP? The answer is the legal status that differentiates between DC/EP and cryptocurrencies. In terms of making payments through cryptocurrencies, the laws are vague in regards to whether it is legal to pay for goods and services in China using this form of payment; however, DC/EP is recognized as a legal tender to make transactions. The government will also control the digital yuan while cryptocurrencies are decentralized and do not have a single entity to manage their supply. Anonymity is another significant difference between the digital yuan and cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are anonymous whereas the digital yuan will be monitored, tracked, and backed by the government.