The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has completed the development of basic features of its central bank digital currency (CBDC), taking another step towards its launch.
Reported by the Global Times on Tuesday, the central bank is now drafting laws governing the circulation of the CBDC.
The anonymous industry sources of the publication also revealed that the accelerated development process of the PBoC was fueled by the economic distress caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The central bank is seeing the digital currency as a convenient tool for its zero and negative interest rate.
The report also detailed that Alibaba’s payment subsidiary Alipay has publicized five patents related to PBoC’s digital currency from January 21 to March 17.
The patents cover several areas, including issuance, transaction recording, digital wallets, anonymous trading support, and assistance in supervising and dealing with illegal accounts, all of which are necessary for basic features of the digital currency.
“Judging from the patents, the first step of technological development has been basically completed,” the industry insider told the publication.
Gearing up for digital yuan
Earlier this year, the country even implemented a new law to categorize crypto passwords.
The central bank employees have also recently taken WeChat, the leading social media platform in China, to discourage crypto trading.
The Chinese central bank started the development of the digital currency in 2014. However, it was still skeptical about the real-world use of it. Though the regulator is now optimistic about the benefits of the digital version of yuan, its launch date is still unknown.
Meanwhile, other major central banks are also diving into the study of such digital currencies. Though Britain’s central bank is a part of a consortium for such a study, its former governor recently warned against the impact of CBDC on fiat.