China’s CBDC Research Delayed Due To Coronavirus Outbreak; Will It Launch In 2020?

  • China’s digital payment system will “most likely” not launch in Q1 2020, sources.
  • The outbreak of the CoronaVirus (COVID-19) in China affecting blockchain operations.

According to local media, Global Times, a reliable government resource has confirmed that the planned launch of its digital currency electronic payment (DCEP) will not launch in the first quarter of 2020 due to the spread of CoronaVirus. No tentative dates have been offered on the launch date, but the official confirmed the DCEP will be launched this year.

A source close to the project's development of the DCEP confirmed the outbreak of the virus delayed the launch of the payment system. Speaking anonymously, the official said,

“The coronavirus outbreak has led to postponed work resumption in government institutions, including the People's Bank of China (PBC). Policymakers and research staff involved in the DCEP project are no exception, which weighs on the development process.”

The project, which was set for launch in this quarter, has slim chances of actually launching as the outbreak of the virus stalled operations in China. The DCEP will replace physical cash, offering citizens in China a digitized payment system – a digital yuan.

‘China’s DCEP will launch in 2020’

Despite the delays, the report states the developers still have the ability to pull off its launch later this year. Global Times also interviewed Cao Yin, vice director of the Advanced Research Institute of Blockchain, at Tsinghua University, a close development partner with the government in the DCEP project. Cao said,

“The central bank has been preparing for the launch both technologically and theoretically for a long time. The technological roadmap has been laid out already.”

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is expected to offer the public information on the recent developments of the project before the end of March. However, this seems unlikely with only a month remaining, the official said.

CEO of crypto company BankLedger, Shentu Qingchun, believes the delay provides a silver lining for the project as users witness the advantages of using digital currencies instead of contaminated cash.

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