Xiao Lei: The rumor is very subtle, Tencent and Ali will participate in the central bank's digital currency issuance.

On the morning of August 28, according to Forbes, a former independent researcher who has worked in one of the seven institutions (ICBC, China Construction Bank, Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Alibaba, Tencent, and UnionPay) was cited. According to the news, the People's Bank of China will launch a state-backed cryptocurrency in the coming months and issue it to seven major institutions simultaneously. According to a former government official, the central bank's digital currency may be officially launched on November 11 this year .

After the release of this news, it caused a lot of sensation, and many media also began to directly verify the relevant institutions. As a result, some sources close to the central bank said that this report is not prepared, just speculation. Other sources close to the central bank said that the release of the seven institutions, and officially launched on November 11, these two information are not reliable . Ant Financial did not comment on this matter.

In fact, the first time that Forbes published information, the media and investors asked me, my answer is, to be confirmed. What I am saying here is to be confirmed. In fact, the main consideration is that I need to write a long analysis to explain the matter. If I simply post a point of view, it is easy to be taken out of context and the matter is not clearly stated. It does not help everyone. .

I will give you a detailed analysis of whether the news is true or false, and what secrets are hidden behind it.

According to the public remarks of the deputy director of the central bank's payment and settlement department, Mu Changchun, who was in charge of the digital currency business 20 days ago, the central bank has already prepared for the issuance of China's official digital currency. The specific issuance method is not directly issued by the central bank to the public. Instead, the second-tier structure is adopted, that is, the central bank first converts the digital currency to a bank or other operating agency, which then converts it to the public.

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As for the use of China's official digital currency, Mu Changchun has said that it is a business scenario for low-frequency retail high-frequency . In order to guide the central bank's digital currency for small- scale retail scenarios, not to squeeze out deposits and avoid the pro-cyclical effects of arbitrage and stress, we can set transaction limits and balance limits according to different levels of wallets.

Let's take a look at Forbes's news. First, the central bank issues digital currency to the seven institutions. The date of issuance is the Double Eleven Shopping Festival, which is in line with the central bank's definition of the official digital currency distribution design and application scenario. Double eleven is actually the most concentrated expression of small retail.

So the question is, why do some sources close to the central bank make a rumor?

There are two possibilities. The first is that the central bank intends to disclose the news and achieve the effect of international communication. It also looks at the feedback from the domestic market. The international sensational effect created by the US version of the digital currency libra is very beneficial for the future spread of Libra, and China also needs to spread its own digital currency.

According to Mu Changchun, the digital currency to be issued by the central bank is loosely coupled, and the value transfer is removed from the traditional bank accounts, which greatly reduces the dependence of the transaction links on the account. The central bank's digital currency can be easily circulated like cash, which is conducive to the circulation and internationalization of the renminbi. At the same time, it can achieve controllable anonymity, ensuring the anti-money laundering (anti-money laundering, anti-terrorism financing, anti-tax evasion) while ensuring that both parties are anonymous. There is a balance between the two.

Many important news about China's financial reforms, the central bank will first disclose to foreign media, and then the domestic hot debate, at least the release of an international news, to achieve some of the purpose of international communication. In addition, the Double Eleven itself is famous at home and abroad and is a good point of communication.

As for the problem of rumors, in fact, we do not have to take it seriously. The central bank does not explicitly deny it at present. In fact, it can be retired. Anyway, the source close to the central bank can be a central bank or someone else.

The second possibility is that Alibaba or Tencent disclosed it intentionally or unintentionally.

Many people think that the people who provide news to Forbes are not authoritative, so they are not credible. In fact, everyone can think about it. Compared with Reuters and Bloomberg, Forbes, in the news of current affairs, the sensitivity of the news is definitely lacking, if not targeted. Disclosure to Forbes, in fact, more focused on business, technology, investment and other fields of Forbes, it is difficult to obtain such information in the first time. More importantly, the story of a double eleven release will not be compiled.

More likely, the central bank convened a meeting between Tencent and Alibaba to specifically deploy digital currency. Ali and Tencent were very excited. After returning, they immediately started research and convened a team to implement. In this process, both Ali and Tencent are likely to The news leaked.

In other words, it was originally confidential, and the result was revealed and forced to blame.

Ok, then let's talk about why Tencent and Ali are so excited about participating in digital currency issuance.

This problem may only be the case for me. Researchers who have been tracking the progress of the central bank's digital currency will tell you the truth. I can tell you clearly that before the US Internet giant Facebook did not plan to release Libra, China’s official digital currency did not intend to use the Internet giant as an issuer, nor did it intend to use it in the retail scene, nor would it boost the RMB international. As one of the goals.

As early as the end of 2017, Yao Qian, deputy director of the Science and Technology Department of the People’s Bank of China, was appointed as the director of the Central Bank’s Digital Currency Institute. Yao Qian wrote a paper in his personal capacity, mainly to discuss the landing of the central bank’s digital currency. The question, titled "Digital Currency and Bank Accounts" , details the way in which digital currency is issued, and the purpose.

The earliest method of distribution was very clear, that is, the authorization of the central bank, allowing commercial banks to issue themselves, similar to the issuance of Hong Kong dollars. Because if the central bank sends it directly, then because the central bank's credit is higher than that of commercial banks, it will cause "money moving", which will have a huge impact on commercial banks. If the commercial bank issues it, it will only have an account ID of the digital currency on its electronic account (online banking).

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Regarding the use, the design was “special subsidy payment” , the purpose is very clear, so that it can track various government subsidies to institutions and enterprises through digital currency, and whether the use of the place is used.

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The overall planning of the central bank's digital currency has always had a clear boundary thinking, especially in protecting the interests of banks and protecting the existing electronic payment system. It is almost impossible to make a breakthrough. In the use level, there is actually not too much consideration of the retail scene. To put it bluntly, it is not to let the digital currency out of the bank's comprehensive system, but to become a more monetary identity with tracking attributes.

But on June 18 this year, the US Internet giant Facebook with 2 billion users released a new white paper based on international payment digital currency. The whole concept is complete and the plan is clear. The goal is to go beyond the mobile payment level. Excessive to the digital currency era. This has created a major competitor for China, which is leading the world in mobile payments.

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In addition, libra, a world digital currency that still has an important weight in the US dollar, may deepen the hegemony of the US dollar. This is designed for China’s “small-farm” digital currency top-level design based on the interests of domestic banks and “special subsidy payments”. Said, it is tantamount to being a good one. According to one of my media friends close to the central bank, Libra shocked the central bank leaders with a cold sweat. The central bank digital currency team ran the libra code overnight and found many bugs.

So the emergence of Libra is a turning point for China's official digital currency. Today, the digital currency of the People's Bank of China not only includes Internet giants such as Alibaba and Tencent, because it needs to expand the usage scenario to the retail level, otherwise it will not be able to compete with Facebook with hundreds of millions of mobile terminals. At the same time, it also began to consider how to use digital currency to enhance the internationalization of the RMB and to empower the RMB international credit.

Is the story finished here? No.

In fact, many things are not coincidental. Just as Forbes released about the upcoming issuance of the central bank's digital currency, that is, yesterday, the People's Bank of China decided that the fifth set of RMB in the 2019 edition will be officially issued on August 30.

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Don't forget that the definition of the digital currency issued by the People's Bank of China is the replacement of M0, which is the replacement of cash in circulation on the market.

After the release of the fifth set of RMB in 2019, the existing version of the circulating banknotes will gradually withdraw from circulation. However, the way of exiting the circulation may be different from the past. This time, it may be that the digital currency will gradually Take back. That is to say, after the existing banknotes enter the bank, the bank will directly convert the recovered banknotes into the digital currency of the central bank, forming the first issue of the digital currency, and gradually realize the substitution of M0.

As for the central bank's digital currency, it will directly enter the user's mobile phone terminal during the double eleventh period. I think it still needs to be observed, because China's most fundamental idea is to be "stable". Now it is officially pushed directly, and no major mistakes can be allowed. So I think the other meaning of this news is that the central bank is fully prepared. To stimulate the official release, it may have to wait until the emergence of libra, so the first step of China’s official digital currency will remain at the level of commercial banks and Internet giants. The central bank will not have much more information and needs to pay attention to the banks and Internet giants. Software revision and account information, once online banking or Alipay, etc., there is a "digital wallet ID" and other similar words menu, it may be almost the same.

Text / Xiao Lei