At an event held by China Finance 40 Forum over the weekend in Yichun, Heilongjiang, Deputy Director of the PBOC’s payments department Ma Changchun said that the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is “close” to issuing its own cryptocurrency, Bloomberg reports.

Key Quotes:

The bank’s researchers have been working intensively since last year to develop systems, and the cryptocurrency is “close to being out.” 

PBOC’s intention that the digital currency would replace M0, or cash in circulation, rather than M2, which would generate credit and impact monetary policy.

In a statement listing its work plan for the second half of 2019 released in early August., the PBOC said that the central bank will “expedite the research of China’s legal digital tender” and monitor the trends of virtual currency development at overseas and at home.

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