Much attention has been paid to the global, geopolitical implications of China’s rapid and pioneering development of its digital yuan, also provisionally known as e-CNY.
Yet in a new white paper published by the Working Group on E-CNY Research and Development of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the institution gave a more domestic-focused and technologically-driven vision of the new currency’s background and key objectives.
Recapping the currency’s research and development timeline, the paper notes that the PBoC first set up a task force to study digital fiat currency back in 2014. By 2016, it had established a Digital Currency Institute, which developed the first-generation prototype for the new currency. With the State Council’s approval, the bank began to collaborate with commercial institutions on further developing and testing the e-CNY at the end of 2017.
Notably, these years coincided with the steep growth of the decentralized cryptocurrency markets and their first major bull run in winter 2017, alongside significant transformations of the