The head of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC)’s digital currency research institute Mu Changchun has confirmed that a “digital form of the yuan” is on its way – but claimed that the digitized fiat would be “different from Bitcoin or stablecoins.”
The PBoC chief also stated that the bank would not look to underpin the currency with conventional fiat reserves.
Per the South China Morning Post, who quoted Shanghai Securities News, Ma said,
“The [digital yuan] currency is not for speculation. It is different from Bitcoin or stable tokens [stablecoins], which can be used for speculation or require the support of a basket of currencies.”
The PBoC has remained tight-lipped on exact release dates, pilot projects and partner details, although a major Chinese media outlet recently claimed that all of China’s “big four” commercial banks (all state-run) are already on board, as well as the three biggest telecom companies in the country.
The report’s authors also claimed that pilots were set to begin in Suzhou and Shenzhen.
Tech giant Huawei has been named as a possible collaborator, with 5G network technology believed to be a key part of the PBoC’s digital yuan plans.
Meanwhile, the PBoC has revealed further details about its forthcoming fintech regulatory sandbox projects.
Shanghai Securities News also reports that the PBoC, which earlier this year expressed its willingness to run sandbox projects in 10 or so cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, has updated reporters on its plans.
The media outlet reports that Li Wei, the PBoC’s head of technology, says that the regulations governing the sandboxes will adhere to “international standards.”
However, Li Wei added that the regulations would be decidedly “Chinese” in character, allowing for more regulatory flexibility, while also “protecting consumer rights” more vigorously.
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