US-China Race: China to Release Digital Yuan, Facebook’s Libra Delayed

With the ongoing trade war with the biggest two economies of the world, both the US and China are racing to arm to the teeth with state-of-the-art technology. While blockchain technology, and blockchain-dependent cryptocurrencies, spreading their wings in every sector, the rivalry between the two giants extended to the crypto realm.

China is expected to begin public experimentation of its first digital cryptocurrency in 2020, according to the Wall Street Journal. The plans for digital currency/electronic payments (DC/EP) have been in development phase for a few years now, and the Chinese government started censoring news about its upcoming cryptocurrency in preparation for a release in the near term.

China will not be the first country to launch a state-backed cryptocurrency. Venezuela has already launched its own cryptocurrency the “petro” and is now accepting it for its sales of oil & minerals. However, China would be the first country to apply the technology on a comprehensive scale. It has already achieved much down the road to be a cash-less society. Almost half the country are mobile payment users with apps like “Alipay” and “WeChatPay”. Chinese president Xi Jinping is already known to consider blockchain as “ten times” the importance of inventing the internet.

After Facebook announced it will launch its own cryptocurrency, “Libra”, China decided to accelerate plans to release the digital Yuan, backed by the People’s bank of China. “Libra’s influence naturally threatens sovereign currencies”, said Mu Changchun head of the People’s Bank of China’s research subsidiary on digital currency. The DC/EP program could help better track money flows, but concerns arose regarding decentralisation and state monitoring personal data.

On the other hand, Facebook’s Libra is expected to see delay. Many are concerned that Facebook has jumped too soon in the blockchain pool, and with the 2020 US elections, things are going to be tough for a hasty launch.

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