China has 'no timetable' for digital currency launch: People's Bank of China governor

Earlier remarks from a Chinese central bank official had indicated that China was ready to launch its own digital currency.
Written by Cyrus Lee, Contributor

China does not have a timetable for the launch of its own digital currency despite having researched the topic for about five years, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) governor Yi Gang said this week.

China's central bank has a dedicated digital currency research institute which has been looking into the digital currency issue since 2014 and it has made positive progress in the subject over the years, according to Yi, who said the current plan is to eventually package the digital currency with electronic payment instruments.

"The goal [of the digital money] is to replace a part of M0, that is to say it is aimed to replace a part of cash. But it is not intended to replace M1 or M2 money," Yi said, according to a full transcript of his speech published online.

In August, another PBOC official, Mu Changchun, said in a forum that the timing was almost ripe for the introduction of a central bank digital currency in China after five years of study.

Mu, who took the position as the new head of central bank's digital currency research institute in September 6, made claims earlier this month that the Chinese central bank's digital currency has the best "legitimacy and security". 

Tencent's WeChat payment and Ant Financial's Alipay, the two popular mobile payment methods in China, will not be affected by the digital currency as the introduction of a digital token would replace the cash currently settled by the Chinese banks.

Mobile payments have been extremely popular in China, the government has nevertheless been tightening its grip on digital currencies like Bitcoin. China prohibited local financial institutions from handling Bitcoin transactions in late 2013.

China has also started clamping down on cryptocurrency trading. It banned Initial Coin Offerings in late 2017 and closed down more than 100 cryptocurrency exchange platforms last year.

Related Coverage

China could soon ban cryptocurrency mining: Report

The South China Morning Post has reported the country's economic planning body is moving to ban cryptocurrency mining facilities.

Cryptocurrency: Reasons to be skeptical (TechRepublic)

When it comes to cryptocurrency, let the buyer beware and be aware, says TechRepublic's Brandon Vigliarolo.

New ransomware strain is locking up Bitcoin mining rigs in China

Ransomware threatens to overheat and destroy mining rigs if victims don't infect 1,000 other devices or don't pay a 10 Bitcoin ransom.

Cryptocurrency mining malware is the number one malware menace - again

Cryptojackers like CoinHive top Check Point's 'most wanted' malware list – but Smoke Loader's first entry points to what might be to come.

Cryptocurrency market to explode due to fast transaction speeds, enterprise investment (TechRepublic)

The cryptocurrency market will grow at a CAGR of 31% between 2017 and 2025, according to Transparency Market Research.

Editorial standards