China’s government issued cryptocurrency is almost ready for use. In fact, it could be available for China citizens as well as Renminbi users across the world as early as November 11th, a day China calls Singles day – the busiest shopping day.
Sources in the know talking to Forbes said that the digital currency will be issued through a two-tier system in which the People Bank of China (PBoC) issues the currency to trusted institutions for them to distribute.
Eight institutions have been chosen but only seven were identified by the two sources speaking to Forbes.
Speaking to Forbes, Paul Schulte, who is one of the sources who revealed the information said that the initial list of institutions to receive the DC/EP (Digital Currency/Electronic Payments) – the name given to the asset include the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Bank of China, two of the largest banks in the world.
In addition, the other beneficiaries are the Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Union Pay (an association of Chinese banks), Alibaba and Tencent, notable tech companies from China. Schulte is a former employee of the China Construction Bank.
The other source spoke to Forbes under conditions of anonymity but confirmed the seven institutions named by Schulte. The source, however, said there was an extra company unnamed by Schulte, but neither did they provide the name.
The second source revealed that the technology behind the DC/EP has been ready since last year which means China has been developing the currency for a very long time. If it launches the currency in November, it will become the first country to launch a central bank-backed cryptocurrency beating out all other countries.
Over the past year, the talk on central bank-issued digital currencies has become more prevalent. Venezuela has launched a government-backed digital currency but only pegged to the value of the country’s oil reserves.
Just this past week, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England floated the idea of having a global digital currency backed by a basket of central bank-issued currencies to replace the dollar as a global reserve currency.
It’s really the same idea that Facebook has with its proposed Libra cryptocurrency which will be backed by a basket of other fiat currencies to retain its stable value.