China’s Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency enters race days after Facebook’s Libra fails to fly

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Updated: May 02, 2020 3:07 PM

China’s central bank has started testing its official Bitcoin-like digital currency DCEP, and the bank is now planning to roll out the virtual money payment system soon.

Days after Facebook-backed Libra scaled down its ambitions to become a global currency, China is now inching ahead in the race. (Image: Reuters)

China’s central bank has started testing its official Bitcoin-like digital currency DCEP, and the bank is now planning to roll out the virtual money payment system soon. Days after Facebook-backed Libra scaled down its ambitions to become a global currency, China is now inching ahead in the race. Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China (PBC) said that the research and development work of China’s official digital currency DCEP is proceeding steadily, PTI reported. China is currently carrying out internal pilot tests for the cryptocurrency in four cities. However, the cryptocurrency has not been officially launched yet, state media reported.

Trial runs for DCEP will be piloted in a small range of banks and end users. After that, it will be spread to a wider range with certain improvement in technology and system, the Global Times reported. Later, more banks are also likely to participate in the test of the DCEP to improve overall technology, security and stability of the payment tool, Chen Bo, director of the Finance Research Centre at the Institute of Finance and Economics at the Central University of Finance and Economics told the daily.

“There will be two types of players in future trials, the banks and telecom companies. At present, the central bank is testing the software of DCEP, and whether it will be combined with 5G and sim cards in the future needs to be discussed,” Chen said.

Earlier, US-based social media website Facebook had also announced its plans to launch its in-house cryptocurrency called Libra with launch expected in 2020. However, the currency met with a lukewarm response in the home market with US regulators and politicians expressing concerns about the currency. India too had expressed reservations about cryptocurrencies in general.

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