PBoC Governor Says No Timeline Set for Digital Yuan Launch

An industry insider, however, revealed the possible expedited launch of the digital currency.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has officially clarified that there is “no timetable” is set for the launch of digital yuan.

In an interview with the Financial Times and China Finance, PBoC governor Yi Gang revealed the uncertainly with the launch deadline with ongoing rumors around the digital currency.

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The transcripts of the interview were even published on the central bank’s website on Tuesday.

The central bank officially put the digital currency on trial in four metropolitan areas – Shenzhen, Xiong’An New Area, Chengdu, and Suzhou – by collaborating with local authorities to partially pay the state employees in the digital currency from this month.

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“These tests are just routine work for the research and development (R&D) of the digital currency. No schedule for an official launch has been revealed,” Yi said in the interview (translated from Mandarin).

The governor, however, confirmed that the monetary regulator has plans to use the digital yuan in the Winter Olympics to be held in 2022.

Notably, an earlier report revealed that the PBoC is now drafting the laws governing the circulation of digital yuan. State-owned banks have also developed wallets to store the digital currency and put them into trials.

Contradictory speculation from the industry

Hours after the publication of the interview transcripts, the Global Times, a local media, reported that the central bank is considering launching the Digital Currency/Electronic Payment (DC/EP) ahead of the scheduled deadline given the threats from the United States to put sanctions on China.

“Although the US hasn’t put Chinese financial firms and institutions onto its Entity List, the US may still pose widespread threats to Chinese institutions and impact the yuan’s standing in international settlement. In this regard, China’s state-run digital currency may be rolled out sooner than expected to counter a possible US block,” Cao Yin, a Chinese blockchain industry insider told the news agency.

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