China’s central bank is developing its own digital currency, even as it bans bitcoin and private cryptos

China’s central bank is conducting research to issue the country’s own sovereign digital currency, a move in parallel with similar efforts ongoing in Russia, even as the government has doubled down on banning the use and exchange of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Digital legal tender can help bring down transaction costs, extend financial services to rural areas and increase the efficiency of monetary policies, according to Yao Qian, who leads the research at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the country’s central bank.

“The development of digital economy needs central bank-issued electronic currency more than ever,” Yao said during a Saturday forum in Beijing. “It’s crucial to speed up the research and issuance.” […]

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