China’s digital currency ‘progressing smoothly,’ says central bank

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, has said that its digital currency is “progressing smoothly.”

The development was announced by the central bank at its annual work conference held in Beijing last week. The PBoC, however, did not announce the launch date yet.

“We will continue to steadily advance the development of legal digital currencies” in 2020, said the central bank.

China's digital currency has been in the works for at least five years, with the PBoC having started the initiative in 2014. The much-anticipated digital yuan will be first distributed to commercial banks and then users and businesses can register digital wallets with these commercial banks, the PBoC stated recently.

The first cities to pilot digital currency will reportedly be Shenzhen and Suzhou. The PBOC is said to have partnered with seven state-owned commercial banks and telecoms - the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, China Construction Bank and the Agricultural Bank of China, China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom - to roll out the test.