In late 2018, the South China Morning Post published an article titled “China’s central bank recruiting cryptography experts to help develop its own digital money”. The job vacancies were posted by the Chinese Central Bank led the fin-tech Research Institute. They included four positions to be filled by computer science, cryptography or microelectronics specialists. That was during the same year that China was imposing bans on Bitcoin.
Facebook’s, cryptocurrency-based, project Libra is “forcing” People’s Bank of China (PBOC) to accelerate its plans to create its own digital currency. The directors of the PBOC, Wang Xin stated: “If [Libra] is widely used for payments, cross-border payments, in particular, would it be able to function as money and accordingly have a large influence on monetary policy, financial stability and the international monetary system?”
Libra is backed by a basket of major currencies, however, if this basket is majorly composed of US Dollars it would bring “a series of economic, financial and even international political consequences”, according to Wang. Therefore, this is forcing the PBOC to accelerate the development of its own digital currency that would “improve the efficiency of monetary policy, and help to optimize the payment system”.
The Chinese central bank has been studying cryptocurrencies for more than 5 years, although they’re early in the space they feel outpaced by large corporations like Facebook. Especially if their sovereign currency is at risk against the US Dollar amidst trade talks. Many countries may follow suit and digitise their currencies for efficiency, a positive step for the entire monetary world.
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