China’s proposed digitized domestic currency is not a bid to gain full control of information belonging to the general public, a senior central bank official said on Tuesday, adding that the goal was to balance privacy concerns and the authorities’ need for information, Reuters informs.
China is preparing to be the first country to roll out a digitized domestic currency, a development that is being closely watched by the world’s financial services industries, though few details are currently available.
Similar to Facebook’s proposed Libra digital currency and other cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, the officially-named Digital Currency Electronic Payment will be powered partially by blockchain technology and dispersed through digital wallets, Reuters adds.
What sets it somewhat apart, however, is that the digital currency’s design seemingly provides Beijing with unprecedented oversight over money flows, giving Chinese authorities a degree of control over their economy that most central banks do not have.
“We know the demand from the general public is to keep anonymity by using paper money and coins … we will give those people who demand it anonymity in their transactions,” Mu Changchun, head of the People’s Bank of China’s digital currency research institute, told a conference in Singapore.
“But at the same time we will keep the balance between the ‘controllable anonymity’ and anti-money laundering, CTF (counter terrorist financing), and also tax issues, online gambling and any electronic criminal activities,” he added.