Source: Giulia Marchi / Bloomberg During a seminar at Peking University, Wang Xin, director of the Research Bureau of the People’s Bank of China (NBK), said that the country had begun the next phase of a program to develop digital currencies under the control of the central bank. According to him, the acceleration of the launch of the state cryptocurrency can serve as a “counterweight” to the Facebook Libra project. “A digital currency issued by the central bank can improve the effectiveness of monetary policy and help optimize the payment system,” he comments TechNode. The NBK said that the state digital currency will be equal to money issued directly by the central bank. So far, Chinese officials have officially announced that the issue of developing state cryptocurrency is under discussion. However, as TechNode writes, citing public information posted on the website of the State Intellectual Property Office of China, from June 2017 to March 2018, the central bank’s digital currency research laboratory filed more than 53 patents. These include services that allow interbank transactions using digital currency and a digital wallet. This may mean that the development of China’s national cryptocurrency is already underway. Earlier, Chinese officials expressed their concerns about the Libra project. Thus, Zhou Xiaochuan, the former chairman of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), said that the very concept of a global digital currency that can be exchanged for Fiat threatens existing payment systems and could weaken the position of national currencies. Meanwhile, Facebook has enlisted the support of a number of businesses to get Libra launched. As writes the newspaper Politico, Facebook attracts to the promotion of companies specializing in strategic planning in the field of finance. Among them are Sternhell Group, Cypress Group and OB-C Group. The corporation also received support from BakerHostetler and Davis Polk, which will help solve legal issues related to the launch of Libra. Lobbyists will try to influence the US government in order to gain a better understanding of the technology and dispel doubts about the project.
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