The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has kicked off 2022 with rigour, hitting a major milestone for the introduction of the digital Yuan (e-CNY) and laying out this year’s strategy for delivering its digital transformation.
This morning, the ‘e-CNY’ app was officially released by the central bank for IOS and Android devices, while still a pilot version – representing a huge progression on the road to the Chinese CBDC (the replacement for now banned cryptocurrencies).
Select retail-level users in China will have the opportunity to engage with the digital Yuan for the first time, alongside other institutional users such as major banks.
The project is being piloted in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, with a national roll-out planned for later in the year.
Yi Gang, the outspoken Governor of the People’s Bank of China explained the ‘e-CNY’ was still focused on tackling complex issues of anti-money laundering within the context of a viable means of cross-border digital payments.
“Cross-border and international use is more complicated, as it involves legal issues such as anti-money laundering and know-your-customer. The international community is also having deeper discussions,” he explained.
“Given the complication of cross-border use, the e-CNY is designed mainly for domestic retail payments at present.
“We will keep an eye on its development and look forward to strengthening the cooperation with other central banks and international organisations… for now, we do not have any plan for using e-CNY in the Belt and Road countries yet.”
People’s Bank of China leads FinTech development plan
Alongside the launch of the ‘e-CNY’ app, the People’s Bank of China also energised its troops this morning publishing a document outlining the eight key tasks that lay ahead for meeting the FinTech development plan 2022-2025.
Those tasks were…
- Strengthen FinTech governance to shape the components and ethics developed for the future digital ecosystem.
- Construct of fully activated data capabilities that encourage the ‘sharing of data… under the premise of security’.
- Consolidation of the ‘digital base’ through the construction of a green high power data centre network (the centralised ‘e-CNY’ blockchain infrastructure).
- Extend the industrial ecology to open up the ‘last mile’ of transformation (likely referring to the implementation of AI).
- Establish safety mechanisms for FinTech to effectively control risk.
- Develop diverse and integrated service channels to onboard retail-level users with minimal barriers-to-entry.
- Improve strength of regulatory technology to enable penetrating supervision and FinTech firewall.
- Cultivate FinTech talent in order to steady the long-term development of the technology at PBOC.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.