- No set date for the release of the long-awaited digital Chinese Yuan, top Peoples’ Bank of China (PBoC) official clarifies.
In an interview published on the official PBoC website by the Financial Times and China Finance, Governor Yi Gang, clarified on the heated launch of the digital yuan project stating the project does not have a timetable on launch. On the question of the possible launch of the digital currency/electronic payments system (DC/EP) program, Yi said,
“There is no timetable for when it will be officially launched.”
The development of a digital RMB has been in plans since 2014 when the PBoC began its official research on digital currencies. In November 2017, the government-controlled bank announced the start of its research and development of the digital yuan (DCEP) project in partnership with some of the top financial institutions and banks in the country.
The project, which has been relatively secret from the public eye is rumored to be testing pilots across different provinces in the country. On the testing, Yi confirmed that the PBoC has been conducting closed internal pilot tests in four major cities including Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong'an, and Chengdu. Notwithstanding, Yi said the system may be available for use in the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics to “verify theoretical reliability, function availability, process convenience, scenario applicability, and risk controllability.”
The quickened efforts on the DC/EP project however does not mean the digital yuan will be officially issued by the bank, Yi said raising the doubt on possible issuing by the PBoC.
PBoC’s blockchain development continues
The China Communist Party (CCP) is leading the efforts in establishing a blockchain-friendly economy across the country. In the first meeting of the PBoC financial committee, chaired by Fan Yifei, the officials laid out plans to accelerate the overall blockchain development in preparation for the set 2021 deadline.
However, the latest comments from PBoC’s governor, Yi, may mean a longer wait for the digital yuan.