China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced today that it will make the necessary moves to work toward issuing a digital currency, as soon as possible.

The PBC has announced in a release today that it intends to launch its own digital currency, following a meeting held in Beijing. The purpose of the meeting was discussed in today’s release by the central bank of the world’s second largest economy.

A ‘special’ research team put together by the PBOC was set up as early as 2014 to conduct research and look into all possible regulatory frameworks for the issuance of a nationwide digital currency and the impact it may have on the economy, the media release revealed on the PBOC’s official website.

In no uncertain terms, the unofficial translated release from the PBOC states:

The digital currency team….should clarify the strategic objectives of central bank digital currency issuance, thoroughly research key technologies, research various applications for digital currency to help the central bank introduce a digital currency, as soon as possible.

The PBOC also revealed that it engaged experts from Citibank and Deloitte to discuss the frameworks required for the issuance of a national digital currency.

Furthermore, insights from the meeting state a consensus that the issuance of a national digital currency by the central bank would have ‘practical and far-reaching historical significance.’

Some of the benefits extolled by the announcement include:

  • Reducing costs incurred during issuance and circulation of traditional fiat currencies.
  • An increase in the transparency and convenience of economic transactions
  • The curbing effect on tax evasion, money laundering and other criminal acts.
  • Improve the central bank’s control over the money supply and circulation.
  • Breaking barriers to bring financial solutions for those unbanked in the country.

Some of the tasks set by the PBOC toward the team include the mandate of designing the proposed digital currency based on strong ‘economic, safety and service principles.’

In insisting on the breadth of the research already done for the endeavor, the PBOC also claimed that it had worked with the relevant international agencies and Internet and tech-based companies to develop the technology platform for linking domestic and international financial institutions.

Discussions were also held with card-payment operators, suggesting that a nationwide rollout of digital currency and its necessary framework and infrastructure are strongly in the works. No companies or operators involved in such talks were revealed.

The last time an official body of authority publicly spoke about digital currencies and Bitcoin, specifically, was in October 2015 when the Chinese Cyberspace Administration stated the world had already entered a ‘post-Bitcoin era’ and that it could ‘no longer ignore its revolutionary changes.’

Disclaimer: The translations are unofficial. Hat tip and credit to Reddit user KoKansei

Featured image of the PBOC from Shutterstock.

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