In a special edition of London’s Crypto Curry Club, leading individuals from across the financial world assembled on a rainy Wednesday evening to discuss China’s recent proposal for a digital currency pegged to the Renminbi.
The event, which was sponsored by CoinGeek, drew 60 delegates from an array of professional backgrounds, spanning banking, blockchain and fintech—and unsurprisingly, a divergent assortment of opinions on the merits of China’s proposal.
Setting the scene for the discussions were a pair of presentations from independent financial consulting firm, Finserv Experts. Managing Partner, Kafirah Kang and Enterprise Business Architect, Ewan Puckle Hobbs delivered a high-level briefing on the initiative, covering the key tenets of the project—including the aims of the Chinese government, in addition to key characteristics like traceability and data privacy.
Earlier this year, China’s Central Bank issued a statement confirming that the top-level design and architecture of their Digital Currency/Electronic Payment (DC/EP) system—which was first announced in 2014—had been completed, with a roll out for testing across the country’s banks set to follow later in 2020.
While official information on the proposal has been light, an array of patents filed by the People’s Bank of China offers an insight into the extent of the ambition—with proposals submitted ranging from integrating digital currency wallets with existing bank accounts, through to systems for interbank settlements in digital currency.
Following Finserv’s presentations, Bitcoin Association’s China Manger, Lise Li, also presented on the DC/EP—offering an analysis on the extent that blockchain technology was likely to be utilised in the proposed system, as well as notable unique features evident.
“DC/EP is a fiat digital currency issued by the Chinese Government, which is 100% backed by the Renminbi. The currency [will operate at a fixed peg of] one-to-one with the Chinese Yuan, making it quite different from any other cryptocurrencies in the world that currently exist, as there is no fluctuation,” she explained.
“There will be a two-tier issuing system, so the bottom tier will be the Chinese Central Bank issuing DCEP to commercial banks, so our guess is that there will be no blockchain technology used, just a centralised system.”
“I believe in the next 1-2 years there will be a chaotic period for all of the commercial banks, who will need to look for different blockchain solutions—or perhaps use their own blockchain technology—to best service the upper layers.”
After the presentations, those in attendance engaged in a lively discussion around the pros and cons of the DC/EP proposal, as well as what form its implementation may ultimately take.
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Speaking exclusively to CoinGeek following the event, Crypto Curry Club founder Erica Stanford explained the concept. “The Crypto Curry Club is a series of invitation-only networking and education events in the crypto, blockchain and emerging-technology space. We get some really interesting people in to speak—people who aren’t traditionally on the blockchain speaking circuit—bringing with them some different and unique viewpoints,” she explained.
“We’ve built the largest community of crypto and blockchain people within the U.K., with all sorts of people, from founders of start-ups and scale-ups, to C-suite executives from major banks and global companies. We all come together and now many are working together, be it hiring and recruiting, investing, partnering, we’ve seen it all.”
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