The surging price of Bitcoin could have partly driven interest in China’s digital yuan project, according to CNBC.
- The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) sees the digital yuan as a way to advance cashless payments — a digital version of the fiat currency which the central bank has been working on since 2014.
- PBOC Research Bureau Director Wang Xin said market interest in the digital yuan is very strong, and everyone is paying close attention.
- “On one hand, this is related to more and more central banks in the world participating in the development of domestic digital currencies,” Wang mentioned in his Mandarin comments.
- China is arguably the furthest ahead among a number of central banks exploring the possibility of issuing their own digital currencies. Among them are Japan, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Switzerland.
- The PBOC has yet to provide a timeline for the nationwide rollout of the digital yuan, but a number of pilot projects have been carried out in cities around China. These are often in the form of lotteries where people can apply to get a slice of digital yuan and spend it at participating outlets.