The People’s Bank of China has reiterated that the Digital Yuan is still at the testing phase and there is no set timetable for the official launch
The Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBC) Yi Gang has reportedly told a panel at a meeting that the country’s move towards launching a central bank-issued digital currency doesn’t have a specific timetable, according to The Block Crypto.
Yi was speaking during an interview; the transcript was published by the regulator on its website on Tuesday. According to the publication, the Financial Times and China Finance conducted the rare interview on a range of subjects, including the Digital Yuan, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the National People’s Congress.
Yi’s comments come as China’s central bank continued its internal piloting of the Digital Currency/Electronic Payment (DC/EP) project. The testing, which began in April, has seen the PBOC roll out the program in Shenzhen, Chengdu, Xiong’An New Area and Suzhou.
Testing, the interviewers heard, is part of “routine work” as research continues. He told the Two Sessions meeting that conducting the pilot tests “doesn’t mean that the digital RMB will be officially issued“, adding that there was not yet an official launch date.
Digital yuan to be tested at the 2022 Winter Olympics
Revealed in the interview was the news that the country was looking to conduct further testing during the 2022 Winter Olympics held in Beijing.
He added that the idea is to put the DC/EP to test in that environment to help the PBC “verify [the digital currency’s] theoretical reliability and system stability.”
According to Yi, the People’s Bank of China is pursuing the Digital Yuan because of demand from the public “for legal currency under the conditions of the digital economy.”
China’s central bank governor appeared to downplay speculation that the Digital Yuan could be available soon. However, The Global Times quoted an insider claiming that the Chinese authorities could be keen on launching the blockchain-based yuan much sooner. Cao Yin allegedly told the publication that China is looking at the project as a safeguard against potential threats to the country’s fiat currency from the US.
US and Chinese relations have been tense in recent times; with the impact of a trade-war and attempts by President Trump to argue that China owed compensation to the world for being the origin of the COVID-19 virus.
In that case, China may launch its digital currency “sooner than expected,” Yin added.