August 12, 2019 Deputy Director of the People’s Bank of China, Mu Changchun, announces digital yuan is close to launch.

The central bank claims the digital asset will strengthen and increase circulation of the yuan. Other Chinese officials have stated the recent acceleration of the project is in response to Facebook’s announcement of its Libra currency. The move signals a potential shift towards embracement of certain types of cryptocurrencies by the Chinese government, which has historically opposed permissionless networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. This approach has also been adopted by countries such as India, which is working to ban all cryptocurrencies except for its proposed digital Rupee.

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