China’s apex bank, the People’s Bank of China revealed that it will increase research and development when it comes to the digital version of its currency, yuan.
The topic was discussed during the 2020 national telecom conference organised by the central bank last week.
“The People’s Bank of China will undoubtedly further its research and development of the national digital currency with enhanced top-down design,” the bank said in a notice issued last week.
The notice further stated that steady progress was made in reform and innovation in key areas, and statutory digital currency research and development work was carried out steadily.
The coronavirus epidemic could speed up the process of launching the digital version of yuan, according to Lihui Li, former president of the People’s Bank of China.
In order to stop the spread of the virus, the Chinese government has seized and quarantined old paper notes. Authorities asked Chinese banks to disinfect cash before issuing it to the public. Physical cash was also removed from high-risk places such as hospitals and markets.
According to media reports, China has spent around five years in research and system development in this regard. The central bank also carried out the first real-world pilot of the currency in December 2019.
Last year, China also rolled out new laws with regard to online encryption as a part of its plan to launch a digital version of yuan and take greater control of the digital economy.
Japan is also reportedly planning to launch its own digital currency to counter China.