The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced on Monday 21 September that its central bank digital currency (CBDC) is ready for launch.
Local news outlet China Banking News referred to a previous article published by PBOC’s Financial News on 19 September. The article said that the bank had “completed technical preparations” for the CBDC, which already “satisfied conditions for deployment.”
The PBOC started research into a statutory digital currency in 2014. By January 2017, it had established a Digital Currency Research Institute, according to the article.
In the same vein, Reuters reported that China is eager to become the world’s first nation to issue a CBDC. It formally called its CBDC the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) system. This comes in an attempt to internationalise its fiat currency and reduce its reliance on the dollar’s financial infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the PBOC said the rights to issue and control a digital currency would become a “new battlefield” of competition between sovereign countries, Reuters cited China Finance.
Moreover, it added in an article that the issuance and circulation of the digital currency would bring great changes to existing international finance.
“China has many advantages and opportunities in issuing fiat digital currencies, so it should accelerate the pace to seize the first track.”
In August, media-outlets reported that four of China’s big state-owned banks have started testing an app for the new CBDC. These banks include the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), ICBC, Bank of China (BOC), and China Construction Bank (CCB).
This step came after the PBOC announced in April that it started internal testing of CBDC at various locations. These locations included Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an New District, and Chengdu, as well as at sites for the Winter Olympics.
In addition, the bank submitted 22 patent applications during April covering digital currency issuance. It offered 65 concerning currency circulation, and 43 on applications, resulting in the formation of a “complete industry chain.”