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2020-12-01 4 ENGLISH REPORTS
The PBOC is leading progress globally in developing a CBDC, starting on-the-ground testing of its digital currency system (Exhibit 5), known as DC/EP (Digital Currency/Electronic Payment) this year. Research started as early as 2014 and by 2015 a prototype had been devised. By mid-2020, several Chinese banks had tested the mobile app internally. Although no offificial launch timeline has been provided, pilot testing has already started in four cities (Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an, and Chengdu) and digital currency will feature at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. As of early October, it was reported that the PBOC opened 113,000 consumer digital wallets and nearly 9,000 corporate wallets in its pilot programs, with DC/EP already used for more than RMB 1.1 bn worth of transactions. If its pilot programs are successful, the PBOC may be one of the fifirst central banks globally to issue a CBDC.
Competition with other currencies. There have been numerous discussions on n how cryptocurrencies may inflfluence fifinancial stability by circumventing capital controls and even replacing legal tender, particularly in emerging economies with relatively unstable currencies. The most recent challenge to fifinancial sovereignty has come from Facebook’s Libra program as its large global user base has the potential to disrupt elements of the fifinancial system. On the other hand, issuing a CBDC can reinforce the competitiveness of legal tender with other currencies. Improving effificiency and reducing costs. The printing and operating cost of cash n can be a considerable expense for an economy, and illicit activities and tax evasion are facilitated by using cash. Beyond that, the ineffificiencies of existing domestic and cross-border payment systems (as evidenced by high cost and slow speed) suggest signifificant room to improve. A CBDC can be an effificient and low-cost alternative to existing payment methods.
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