Last year, Facebook decided to launch its digital coin, Libra, which didn’t receive a warm welcome from the authorities and banks worldwide. On the other hand, China decided to launch its centralized cryptocurrency by the end of 2019. Still, as we enter the year 2020, China’s central bank said that it would continue to research and develop a sovereign electronic currency this year.
The People’s Bank of China announced that they had made significant progress in 2019 on the development of the currency, but they didn’t mention when it’ll be launched. PBOC is one of the first central banks that promoted the idea of virtual sovereign currency because the country sees cryptocurrencies as a threat to the financial system. There were rumors of the digital currency being launched by November 11 to align perfectly with the online shopping promotion of Singles Day, but that didn’t happen.
Sweden’s Riksbank announced that it had given a one-year contract to Accenture to build a pilot program that would support a new digital currency called e-krona to help the central bank expand its technological horizon. However, the project might take some time before the introduction, as the pilot project could be extended for seven years.
More banks moving towards digital currencies
The governor of Bank of Japan, Haruhiko Kuroda, said that the bank is planning to conduct “technical and legal research” in the field of cryptocurrencies. The country has no plans for issuing a digital sovereign currency as the demand for cryptocurrencies is not high in Japan. When asked, PBOC was reluctant to announce a date while they continue to work on the sovereign digital currency.
Chinese business magazine Caijing, in December, informed that the country’s four major state banks – China Industrial and Commercial Bank, China Construction Bank, Bank of China, and Agricultural Bank of China were involved in the process of growth along with three state-owned telecom firms.