The Chinese central bank is not issuing cryptocurrency in November, despite recent reports to the contrary, according to state media.
The Global Times denied the suggestion the bank was preparing for an imminent rollout of a digital currency, describing the idea as “inaccurate speculation.”
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) August 28, 2019
The publisher is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, and its editor-in-chief Hu Xijin is widely regarded as a figure of influence and access within the machinery of the Chinese state.
The past few weeks have been flush with stories from both official and unofficial sources about the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and their work towards launching a central bank-backed cryptocurrency.
In early August, the bank said it was planning to accelerate research and development around a cryptocurrency in light of Facebook’s Libra project, with concern that the stablecoin could ultimately help strengthen the global dominance of U.S. dollar hegemony.
On August 10, a statement from the deputy director of payments at the bank suggested the cryptocurrency project was at an advanced phase, and almost ready for launch.
This was backed up by media reports throughout the month suggesting the bank had brought forward its work on a digital Renminbi, in direct response to the rise of Facebook’s Libra.
This week, sources were reported to be suggesting the cryptocurrency was being set up to launch in November, with an initial round being distributed to Alibaba, Tencent and a number of large Chinese banking and financial services institutions.
In particular, they said the technology was “ready to ship,” and suggested a wider rollout was imminent.
The comments in state media today appear to put a pause on the rumours, and could suggest the Chinese state is either not yet ready to launch its cryptocurrency, or is trying to do so under the radar.
Just this week, the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said the PBoC was significantly ahead of the U.S. in developing its cryptocurrency, suggesting this could ultimately shift the global reserve currency towards China and away from the U.S.
It remains to be seen whether November will indeed bring the launch so many previous reports had suggested.
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