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Home / Business / China is close to issuing a Libra-like digital currency

China is close to issuing a Libra-like digital currency



  An employee counts 100 yuan banknotes in a bank in Nantong, China's eastern Jiangsu Province, July 23, 2018.
Enlarge / An employee counts 100 yuan banknotes in a bank in Nantong in China's eastern Jiangsu province July 23, 2018.

– / AFP / Getty Images

China's central bank is working on a cryptocurrency that will be similar to Facebook's Weight, a government official said this week, according to Reuters. [19659005] China's central bank has had a group studying digital currencies since at least 2014, but efforts seem to have come into focus in recent months. Last month, an Mu announced that an official Chinese digital currency was "almost ready."

Details of the technology remain scarce, but it seems that the new currency – like the Weight – is being linked to a conventional currency to maintain its value. While the weight will be tied to a basket of conventional currencies including dollars and euros, China's digital currency will be linked to the yuan.

Mu said that cryptocurrency was designed to "protect our monetary sovereignty and legal currency status." Government officials in the United States and abroad have raised concerns that, if Libra gains traction, it could threaten the dominance of conventional currencies backed by governments.

The official, Mu Changchun of People's Bank of China, said the currency would be usable on major Chinese messaging platforms such as WeChat and AliPay. Of course, Libra is designed to be used on Facebook's own messaging products.

The currency can be issued by both China's central bank and financial institutions.

"Mu said China's digital currency would create a balance between allowing anonymous payments and preventing money laundering," reports Reuters.


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