China’s Digital Currency Is Ready, Central Bank Says

According to PBoC deputy director Mu Changchun, a prototype that adopts blockchain architecture has been successfully developed after five years of research.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has claimed that its digital currency “can now be said to be ready.”

His announcement, made at the China Finance 40 Forum, was reported by local news site Shanghai Securities News on August 10.

Two-tier operating system

Mu said issuing a digital currency using a pure blockchain architecture would be difficult to achieve in a country as big as China because retailers require high concurrency performance.

The digital currency is also going to adopt a two-tier operating system to cater to the nation’s “complex economy with a vast territory and a large population”, with PBoC on an upper level and commercial banks on a secondary level. According to Mu, this will improve accessibility, enhance adoption rates among the public, and promote innovation among commercial entities.

According to the PBoC executive, the digital currency is designed to be suitable for “small-scale retail high-frequency business scenarios.”

A threat to the United States?

As reported by Cointelegraph on Aug. 9, the PBoC has been planning to get ahead of the U.S. and Facebook’s Libra by issuing a national cryptocurrency, as American politicians slam the brakes on the social network’s stablecoin because of regulatory concerns.

However, despite the upbeat remarks by Mu, it remains unclear exactly when China’s digital currency will actually launch.

China Telecom Releases White Paper on 5G Blockchain Phones

Major phone operator China Telecom has released a white paper on blockchain-powered smartphones in the 5G Era.

China Telecom introduced the white paper at the China International Intelligent Industry Expo on Aug. 27, according to a report by local finance news outlet Sina.

Existing troubles

In the document, China Telecom pointed out the potential benefits of applying blockchain technology to mobile phones, including automation and transaction traceability. According to Sina, China Telecom’s white paper says that people can master their own digital asset in 5G era, while “regardless of data volume, data varieties and data dimensions, data assets will grow geometrically.”

The company reportedly noted the growing adoption of blockchain in the mobile industry, with the caveat that the adoption rate is low at the current stage as blockchain-powered mobile phones have yet to see mass production.

However, the majority of blockchain mobile phone manufacturers have used blockchain in order to speculate on market hotspots rather than to bring the actual power of the technology to the industry, China Telecom stated. In turn, this resulted in the poor performance of existing blockchain smartphones so far, the company reportedly said.

China Telecom’s project

Developed by China Telecom, the blockchain application ecosystem described in the white paper intends to solve major issues in operating mobile networks, including fraud, harassment, loss of data and crimes related to identity theft. Moreover, the white paper also describes a project of SIM card-based blockchain digital asset management system.

As an example, China Telecom’s idea to use blockchain in managing anti-theft and anti-loss proposes to create blacklists associated with trusted IMEIs and encrypt it through blockchain. When a mobile device gets blacklisted, carriers, smartphone suppliers and end users can immediately identify and disable stolen devices through the technology, China Telecom reportedly wrote.

Additionally, the white paper also indicated that the 5G blockchain has five major application scenarios involving digital identity verification, financial application, supply chain tracing application, judicial application and express delivery industry.

As previously reported, the combination of 5G and blockchain can potentially contribute to a surge in economic value, partly because 5G’s capability to directly assist blockchains by increasing node participation and decentralization, as well as allowing for shorter block times, driving on-chain scalability.

China May Soon Have Its First Blockchain Exchange-Traded Fund

China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), the country’s financial watchdog, has recently received an application for listing an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that will track blockchain-related stocks as underlying assets.Dubbed Penghua Shenzhen Stocks Blockchain ETF, the application was filed by Shenzhen-based asset management firm Penghua Fund and was accepted by the CSRC on Dec. 24, according to the regulator’s disclosure.

The proposed ETF aims to track and reflect the performance of Shenzhen-listed public stocks that have businesses in the blockchain industry.

Based on a report from Shanghai Securities News on Thursday, if the application received final approval by the CSRC, it would be the country’s first completely blockchain-themed ETF that are open to public investors.

The application was received at the same time as the Shenzhen Stock Exchange rolled out a Blockchain 50 Index that is comprise of 50 stocks listed on the exchange that have entered the blockchain space.

The Shenzhen exchange said in an announcement on Dec. 24 that the index tracks those that are involved in different aspects of the blockchain ecosystem and selects the top 50 by market capitalization.

The current index list includes software companies, banks like Ping An Bank, as well as internet companies that entered cryptocurrency mining such as Wholeasy, which invested $80 million in bitcoin miners in 2018.

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