China’s central bank nearly ready to issue digital currency

digital currency
A man walks past the headquarters of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, in Beijing, China September 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files

YICHUN, China/BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s central bank is “almost ready” to issue the country’s own sovereign digital currency, a senior central bank officer said.

Mu Changchun, deputy director of the People’s Bank of China’s payments department, made the comments on Saturday to a forum held in the northern Chinese province of Heilongjiang.

China’s central bank set up a research team in 2014 to explore the possibility of launching its own digital currency to cut the costs of circulating traditional paper money and boost policymakers’ control of money supply. However it has so far revealed few details of its plans.

Mu said the issuance of the digital currency will rely on a “two-tier” system in which both the central bank and financial institutions will be legitimate issuers.

He also said that the digital currency would not solely rely on blockchain technology as current blockchain technology would not be able to handle transaction volumes in China.

(Reporting by Li Zheng, Yingzhi Yang and Brenda Goh; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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