China’s lawmakers and their advisers will soon meet in Beijing to hash out policies for the year ahead, and the digital yuan is expected to be on the agenda.
The meetings, dubbed the “Two Sessions,” are annual gatherings held by the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People’s Congress (NPC). Kicking off Thursday, they will be attended by 5,000 or so politicians from around the country to help outline the government’s priorities for the year ahead.
Having been written into multiple regional governments’ annual work reports, the central bank digital currency is likely to be raised at the meetings, reported Global Times, one of the Communist Party’s mouthpiece newspapers, on Tuesday.
“More research on cross-border businesses involving the digital currency could be done, and Hong Kong-invested companies in the Chinese mainland could be the first to undertake such trials,” Witman Hung Wai-man, a Hong Kong-based deputy to the National People’s Congress, said in the report.
Chen Chunxing, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), added that one of the benefits of a digital yuan would be to track the circulation of money to help eradicate corruption.
“Many private companies expect the digital yuan to be introduced officially as early as possible, as it can make market competition more open and standardized,” Chen said.
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Even so, the launch of the digital currency, dubbed DCEP (for “digital currency electric payment”) is unlikely to be brought forward drastically at the Two Sessions.
Wang Peng, assistant professor of the Gaoli Academy of Renmin University of China, told the Global Times the government will prioritize security and a number of tests will be required.
So far several cities, including Beijing and Shenzhen, have held lottery trials aimed at getting DCEP into the hands of the public for early feedback.