Chinese think tank head believes China will be first to issue central bank digital currency

Huang Qifan, Vice Chairman of China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), a Chinese think tank with strong ties to the Chinese government, said that he believes China will be the first "central bank in the world to issue sovereign digital currency" at the Inaugural Bund Summit 2019 in Shanghai this week.

Huang also added that he believes the People's Bank of China has been studying a digital currency for five or six years. According to a report by Pandaily, Huang also expressed his concerns with the SWIFT payment system and Facebook's Libra stablecoin.
“SWIFT is an outdated, inefficient and costly payment system. Since the establishment of SWIFT 46 years ago, the technology has been updated slowly and the efficiency has been relatively low. International wire transfers usually take 3-5 business days to arrive. Large remittances usually require paper documents, which presents additional difficulty for processing large-scale transactions effectively,” Huang said.

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On Libra, Huang added that he does not believe Libra or other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin can succeed because "The basis of the issuance cannot be guaranteed, the value of the currency cannot be stabilized and it is difficult to truly form social wealth."
Huang's comments come after China President Xi Jinping stressed that China should commit to developing blockchain and take the leading position in this technology. 

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Steven Zheng is a researcher for The Block. He joined The Block in August 2018. Steven graduated from St. John’s University with a degree in economics. Previously, he covered blockchain and crypto at Radicle, a startup analytics firm. He also had brief stints at Cheddar, a media startup, and Bowery Capital, a venture capital firm. He owns bitcoin. Follow Steven on Twitter at: @Dogetoshi

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