The development of digital yuan, or DECP, will give a big leap forward according to the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank.
Through a statement (in Chinese) on Thursday, the bank said “its top-level design process will use industry standards, develop potential functions and integration testing, and is almost complete.”
The bank said it had worked on a two-tier system that was expected to offer anonymity “which certainly could be controlled” and its function to replace paper money.
The central bank, which formed a special task force to conduct research on digital currencies and established the Digital Currency Research Institute, in 2014, then accelerated the work of its digital yuan after Facebook launched its digital currency project Libra in June last year.
So far, DCEP has been able to defeat Libra in terms of key technical features such as the ability to process offline transactions via mobile devices. The Central Bank also claims one of the goals of the digital yuan is to promote the internationalization of the renminbi (Chinese currency) which can later be used as cross-border payments without going through banking intermediaries which are usually costly and able to provide time efficiency in each of its transactions.
The bank has not stated when the work on the digital yuan will be completed and released.