The People’s Bank of China is allowing select commercial lenders to conduct simulated trials of a proposed central bank digital currency, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. The report was based on claims by unnamed “people familiar with the matter.”
State-owned Chinese banks are conducting internal, hypothetical-use tests of a People’s Bank of China digital currency as if it were being used in Suzhou, Xiong’an, Chengdu and Shenzhen, the people said, asking not to be named as they’re not authorized to speak on the topic.
According to Bloomberg’s sources, the CBDC digital wallet’s initial functions include enabling users to convert cash into digital currency, remittance features, payment capabilities, and traditional account balance-checking.
Those features are apparently tentative since the bank is still conducting research and could add or remove new functions prior to any CBDC issuance.
Most analysts believe that the PBOC continues to lead other central banks in its study and development of digital currency, and the country has repeatedly hinted that it could be ready to launch its own CBDC at any time.