The Global Times claims that China’s central bank has refuted recent reports of its plans to launch a state-backed cryptocurrency this November.
The Global Times is China's national English language tabloid, under the People’s Daily — the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Its editor-in-chief, Hu Xijin, is perceived to have close links to the Chinese authorities and is closely watched by financial market participants globally.
On Aug. 28, the paper posted via its official Twitter handle that:
“Refuting media reports of launching a state-backed cryptocurrency in the coming months, #China's central bank termed them as "inaccurate speculation."
An August of anticipation
Throughout August, reports — both official and non-official — have revealed various details of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC)’s plans to launch a form of digital legal tender.
In an Aug. 2 statement, the PBoC had proposed it should accelerate the research and development of its digital currency, following concerns from the bank’s director that the launch of Facebook’s Libra would consolidate the United States and the U.S. dollar’s hegemony.
By Aug. 10, the deputy director of the bank’s payments unit was indicating that the bank was almost ready to launch the digital currency.
Also this month, an Aug. 20 report from the CPC-owned news portal China Daily suggested that the currency’s launch — following five years of research and system development work as of 2018 — was being expedited due to the announcement of Libra.
Earlier this week, Forbes cited multiple sources — both named and anonymous — who reportedly revealed that the PBoC would be distributing the first round of its digital currency to Alibaba, Tencent, five banking organizations and one unknown entity.
The sources further claimed that the coin’s technology was ready to ship and that it could be rolled out as early as Nov. 11.