Dig­i­tal fiat cur­rency stan­dards pro­moted by of­fi­cials

China Daily European Weekly - - BUSINESS - By CHEN JIA chen­[email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

China is pro­mot­ing stan­dards for dig­i­tal fiat cur­rency around the globe based on its lead­ing re­search, ac­cord­ing to cen­tral bank of­fi­cials.

“The coun­try is par­tic­i­pat­ing in the de­vel­op­ment of some ba­sic dig­i­tal fiat cur­rency con­cepts and stan­dards in some in­ter­na­tional stan­dard-set­ting bod­ies,” said Li Wei, di­rec­tor of the Peo­ple’s Bank of China’s tech­nol­ogy depart­ment. “China has al­ready in­tro­duced stan­dards in some economies in­volved in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.”

The con­cepts and stan­dards are usu­ally re­lated to dig­i­tal fiat cur­rency def­i­ni­tions and cat­e­gories, is­sues af­fect­ing both tra­di­tional and vir­tual cur­ren­cies, as well as reg­u­la­tion.

Global cen­tral bank gov­er­nors and in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial su­per­vi­sion or­ga­ni­za­tions have dis­cussed top­ics re­lated to dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies, in­clud­ing spec­i­fy­ing the at­tributes, le­git­i­macy, se­cu­rity and reg­u­la­tory pro­cesses re­lated to the emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy.

“But we also face dif­fi­cul­ties, as the stan­dards are not so eas­ily ac­cepted in some coun­tries,” Li said.

“We have al­ready achieved some re­sults so far,” said Chen Jianxin, deputy head of the PBOC’s cur­rency, gold and sil­ver bureau. “China is one of the coun­tries that are lead­ing the re­search in dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies, and we hope the stan­dards that we have pro­posed will be ac­cepted by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.”

To date, China has in­tro­duced 72 ex­perts to the In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Stan­dard­iza­tion, join­ing 24 work­ing groups to de­velop in­ter­na­tional stan­dards in var­i­ous ar­eas, the PBOC said.

The bank is one of the first cen­tral banks to ex­plore, study and ex­per­i­ment in dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies. It launched a spe­cial­ized re­search in­sti­tute in 2016 and started to re­search dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies and elec­tronic pay­ments in part­ner­ship with some com­pa­nies in 2017.

Un­der the G-20 frame­work, a con­sen­sus was achieved in March among fi­nan­cial min­is­ters and cen­tral bank gov­er­nors that crypto-as­sets have the po­ten­tial to im­prove the ef­fi­ciency and in­clu­sive­ness of the fi­nan­cial sys­tem, and the broader econ­omy.

But they agreed it can also raise is­sues with re­spect to con­sumer and in­vestor pro­tec­tion, mar­ket in­tegrity, tax eva­sion, money laun­der­ing and ter­ror­ist fi­nanc­ing.

The of­fi­cials also com­mit­ted to im­ple­ment the Fi­nan­cial Ac­tion Task Force, an in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal body set­ting stan­dards and pro­mot­ing ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion in the in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial sys­tem.

They called on in­ter­na­tional stan­dard­set­ting bod­ies to con­tinue their mon­i­tor­ing of crypto-as­sets and risks, ac­cord­ing to their man­dates, and to as­sess mul­ti­lat­eral re­sponses as needed.

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