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China Focus: China to steadily advance digital yuan pilots

2021-7-17 15:51

 

Photo taken on May 8, 2021 shows a digital Chinese yuan (e-CNY) payment card used at the first China International Consumer Products Expo in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province. (Xinhua/Guo Cheng)

BEIJING, July 16 (Xinhua) -- China's central bank on Friday released a white paper on the progress of the country's digital fiat currency, the e-CNY, saying that it will steadily push forward pilot schemes of its digital yuan.

The e-CNY is the digital version of the fiat currency issued by the People's Bank of China (PBOC). It is a value-based, quasi-account-based and account-based hybrid payment instrument with legal tender status and loosely coupled account linkage, the white paper clarified, adding that the e-CNY is "mainly a substitute" for cash in circulation and will coexist with physical yuan.

PURPOSE OF DEVELOPMENT

As the digital economy develops, the share of transactions made using cash is rapidly declining in China.

Meanwhile, a variety of so-called cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin pose potential risks to financial security and social stability, given their lack of intrinsic value, acute price fluctuations, low trading efficiencies and huge energy consumption, the white paper noted.

In many countries and regions, central banks or monetary authorities have kept a close eye on fintech development and sought to digitalize fiat currency.

The development of the e-CNY system in China aims to create a new form of RMB that meets the public demand for cash in the digital economy era.

"Supported by a retail payment infrastructure that is reliable, efficient, adaptive and open, the e-CNY system will bolster China's digital economy, enhance financial inclusion, and make the monetary and payment systems more efficient," read the white paper.

PROGRESS

As the top-level design, functional development, and system testing have been basically completed, the PBOC has so far initiated pilot programs in certain representative regions. It has ensured the programs run in a steady, safe, managed, innovative and practical manner.

The PBOC began its e-CNY research and development (R&D) project at the end of 2017. Large commercial banks, telecom operators and internet companies with significant assets, large market shares and strengths in technology development were selected to participate in the project.

Since the end of 2019, the PBOC has launched e-CNY pilot programs in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong'an and Chengdu. Since November 2020, Shanghai, Hainan, Changsha, Xi'an, Qingdao and Dalian have joined the pilot programs.

As of June 30, 2021, the e-CNY has been applied to over 1.32 million scenarios, covering utility payments, catering services, transportation, shopping and government services.

More than 20.87 million personal wallets and over 3.51 million corporate wallets have been opened, with a total of 70.75 million transactions and a transaction value totaling approximately 34.5 billion yuan (about 5.33 billion U.S. dollars).

FUTURE OUTLOOK

In the future, the PBOC will continue to prudently advance the pilot e-CNY R&D project in line with China's 14th Five-Year Plan, with no preset timetable for the final launch.

Efforts will focus on areas including expanding test scenarios to cover all possible scenarios in selected pilot regions, optimizing the e-CNY ecosystem, and improving relevant institutional arrangements and rules, the white paper noted.

Though technically ready for cross-border use, the e-CNY is currently mainly designed for domestic retail payments.

"Looking ahead, the PBOC will actively respond to initiatives of the G20 and other international organizations to improve cross-border payments, and explore the applicability of the central bank digital currency in cross-border scenarios," read the paper.

It will also work with relevant central banks and monetary authorities to establish exchange arrangements and regulatory cooperation mechanisms on the digital fiat currency, the paper noted.

 

这是5月8日在海南海口举办的首届中国国际消费产品博览会上使用的数字人民币支付卡。(新华社/郭诚)


北京,7月16日(新华社)——中国人民银行周五发布了关于我国数字法定货币(e-CNY)进展的白皮书,称将稳步推进数字货币试点计划。

 


电子人民币是中国人民银行发行的法定货币的数字版本。白皮书明确指出,电子人民币是一种基于价值、准账户和账户的混合支付工具,具有法定货币地位和松散耦合的账户联系,并补充称,电子人民币在流通中“主要是现金的替代品”,将与实物人民币共存。


发展的目的


随着数字经济的发展,中国现金交易的份额正在迅速下降。


白皮书指出,与此同时,比特币等各种所谓的加密货币缺乏内在价值、价格波动剧烈、交易效率低和能源消耗巨大,对金融安全和社会稳定构成潜在风险。


在许多国家和地区,央行或货币当局一直密切关注金融科技的发展,并寻求将法定货币数字化。


中国电子人民币体系的发展旨在创造一种新的人民币形式,以满足公众在数字经济时代的现金需求。


白皮书称:“在可靠、高效、具有适应性和开放的零售支付基础设施的支持下,电子人民币体系将促进中国的数字经济,增强金融普惠性,并使货币和支付系统更加高效。”


进步


目前,中国人民银行已基本完成顶层设计、功能开发和系统测试工作,并在部分具有代表性的地区开展了试点工作。确保各项工作平稳、安全、管理、创新、务实。


中国人民银行于2017年底启动了其电子人民币研发(R&D)项目。选择资产规模大、市场份额大、技术开发优势强的大型商业银行、电信运营商和互联网公司参与。


2019年底以来,中国人民银行在深圳、苏州、雄安和成都启动了人民币试点项目。自2020年11月起,上海、海南、长沙、西安、青岛、大连已加入试点。


截至2021年6月30日,电子人民币已应用于超过132万种场景,涵盖公用事业支付、餐饮服务、交通、购物和政府服务。


共开通2087万个个人钱包和351万个企业钱包,共完成7075万笔交易,交易额约345亿元(约合53.3亿美元)。


未来的前景


未来,中国人民银行将根据“十三五”规划,继续审慎推进人民币研发试点项目,最终启动时间不确定。


白皮书指出,努力的重点将包括扩大试点方案,覆盖选定试点地区的所有可能的方案,优化电子人民币生态系统,并完善相关制度安排和规则。


虽然在技术上可以跨境使用,但电子人民币目前主要用于国内零售支付。


“展望未来,中国人民银行将积极响应G20和其他国际组织在改善跨境支付方面的倡议,并探索央行数字货币在跨境场景中的适用性,”该文件写道。


该文件指出,中国还将与相关央行和货币当局合作,建立数字法币的交易安排和监管合作机制。

 

 

 

来自: xinhua