Report: PBOC to Start Testing Digital Currency in Shenzhen and Suzhou

China’s digital currency is reportedly set for testing.

According to The Block, China’s yet unnamed cryptocurrency will be tested soon in the cities of Shenzhen and Suzhou.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has teamed up with seven state-owned companies to roll out the test, including four commercial banks and three telecoms. The PBOC, someone close to the program said, has even launched a “horse race” among the commercial banks to come up with their own implementation concepts.

Here’s more:

The Shenzhen pilot program will be carried out in two phases, according to Caijing. After a small-scaled testing period at the end of this year, DC/EP will be widely promoted in the city in 2020. Meanwhile, the city of Suzhou may test the new currency as well, according to the report. It was reported in November that a PBOC-backed fintech company was looking for blockchain and encryption experts in Suzhou. The fintech firm, founded by the PBOC’s digital currency research institute, is said to be responsible for the research and development of DC/EP, as well as offering support for testing the new currency.

The acceleration of China’s digital currency project has been largely pinned on Facebook’s Libra unveil. Several commercial bank insiders told Caijing that the PBOC wasn’t in a hurry at first, but “all a sudden, they accelerated.”

Mu Changchun, deputy director of the People’s Bank of China’s payments department, told Reuters last September that the nation’s digital coin will be similar to Libra, but added, in a slightly methinks he doth protest too much way, that it won’t be a direct copy.

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