Changchun Mu, the new chief of China’s Digital Currency Research Institute and former deputy director of the payments and settlement division at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has revealed some of the features developed by the central bank.
According to Coindesk, Mu has released the features of the PBOC’s digital currency and stated that it would serve as an electronic payment tool with “value characteristics.”
“Its functional attributes are exactly the same as paper money, but it is just a digital form,” he said.
Mu also provided the technical aspects of the digital currency, comparing it side-by-side with Facebook’s Libra. According to Mu, the digital yuan can be utilized for transactions between users without the need for an account or an internet connection. If the users’ smartphones have wallets installed, transactions can be made by putting the two devices close together and enabling the near-field communication (NFC) protocol set.
“Even Libra can’t do this,” Mu said.
Mu added that China’s digital currency will be distributed through commercial banks in the same way as fiat currency. Banks are required to open accounts with the PBoC, purchase the currency at 100 percent value, and offer them to users via digital wallets that have been registered with financial institutions, commercial organizations or banks.
Additionally, Mu revealed that the PBoC has been developing the digital yuan as a way of “planning ahead” in a bid to protect monetary sovereignty.
In many ways, Facebook’s Libra may already be a few steps behind China regarding the launch of a digital currency.
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