China's much anticipated Digital Yuan backend development is complete, according to Wang Zhongmin, the former Vice-Chair of the PBoC National Council for Social Security Fund. Wang made this announcement during the virtual 2020 FinTech Forum that was held by Beijing's Fintech 50 Forum in collaboration with Tencent FinTech Research Institute.
The initiative, which began around five years ago, is in its sunrise phase following a pilot in 4 Chinese cities. Going forward, PBoC is optimistic about replacing the fiat renminbi (RMB) in circulation with a digital yuan.
It, therefore, follows that Wang's sentiments could signal an earlier integration with China's monetary system. Notably, China fast-tracked the development of its PBoC backed digital currency after Facebook announced Libra last year.
With crypto assets on the rise, China is looking to emerge as a leader in this space, hoping to replace the U.S dollar as the world's reserve currency.
According to Wang, the digital yuan would not only serve as a digital base currency but also a payment ecosystem that accommodates other crypto-assets and sovereign currencies. Its integration is, therefore, expected to spur greater cooperation and competition in the digital currency space while maintaining oversight.
Also, the move towards a digital yuan is in line with measures against the spread of COVID-19. Wang was keen to note that both governments and private entities have since taken into consideration digital payment tech.