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PBoC tests blockchain-based digital currency with commercial banks
According to latest reports, the People’s Bank of China completed a trial of a blockchain-based digital currency on 15 December 2016.
Caixin reported that the digital currency system was tested with several commercial banks, including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China and the private WeBank.
In early 2016, the People’s Bank of China revealed its intention to issue its own digital currencies. The bank set up a special research team in 2014 to explore the various aspects of digital currency – the key technology behind it, legal issues associated with it, impact on economic and financial system.
Last year, the PBoC directed the team to set up a clearer strategic target for launching digital currencies, overcome the key technological barriers and aim for an early launch of the central bank's digital currencies. In November, reports suggested that the central bank was looking for blockchain experts to develop the official digital currency.
The trials follow the recent efforts by the central bank to investigate the operations of the digital currency exchanges in the country to ensure regulatory compliance.
Sources from the PBoC told Caixin that a digital currency research institute will be officially set up after the week-long Chinese New Year holiday. The November recruitment procedure was actually targeted to fill several positions in the institute. Once the system is ready, the PBoC’s pilot digital currency platform would be connected with the existing Shanghai Commercial Paper Exchange to form a national platform for bank bill transactions.