China has become one of the foremost leaders when it comes to the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry with other regions considering it a major competition. Ever since Chinese premier Xi Jinping claimed that blockchain technology was beneficial, the country has not looked back.
The latest reports revealed that China’s central bank was planning to launch a native mobile application that will enable users to store and exchange the much-anticipated ‘digital yuan’. The bank confirmed plans about the application after multiple screenshots circulated on social media about the UX and UI of the application.
According to the central bank, the application was currently going through rigorous testing with the aim of developing a full-fledged product later. The bank is expected to launch beta tests in major cities such as Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’An and Chengdu. An official release from the bank confirmed the four regions after a long spell where the bank kept its internal workings secret. The People’s Bank of China made its statements to allay any rumours generated from circulating screenshots.
An official statement from the PBoC said:
“The rumoured information about the DECP on the internet is part of the test in our research and development process and it does not mean the digital yuan has been launched officially. The current closed testing of digital RMB will not affect the commercial operation of listed institutions, nor will it affect the RMB issuance and circulation system, financial market and social economy beyond the testing environment.”
Sources close to the developments have said that the pilot projects will not affect the developments of other native projects within the designated areas. The dates for the tests or the actual launch have not been confirmed by the PBoC yet but there are chances it might occur during the Winter Olympics of 2022. China has reiterated that the blockchain tests will not have any impact on mainstream markets either.
Right now, people close to the PBoC have said that the digital RMB system has basically completed the top-level design and standards under the premise of double later operation. In order to continuously optimize and improve functions, the bank will be conducting routine checks internally. The PBoC will also test the waters in terms of circulation, controllable anonymity formulates and function research and development.
The hype around the tests had first started last week when screenshots of a mobile application developed by the Agricultural Bank of China started doing the rounds on WeChat. This triggered massive interest from enthusiasts who predicted that the move could be the started point for blockchain acceleration and development. China has been slowly getting into the big picture of blockchain since 2014. By the end of 2017, the Chinese State Council and the PBoC started working in tandem to establish the Chinese digital Renminbi.