The central bank's digital currency research and development re-transmits new trends: prudent advancement, the four major banks may participate in the pilot

China Business News

Reporter / Ci Yupeng / Zhang Roaming / Beijing Report

The central bank's digital currency research and development again transmitted new trends.

Recently, it has been reported that the four major state-owned commercial banks of Industry, Agriculture, China, and Construction will participate in the central bank's legal digital currency pilot project, and are expected to first land in Shenzhen, Suzhou and other places. In response, a person familiar with the matter told the reporter of China Business Daily that the above information was true, but the related work was still at the intent stage, and the specific form had not been determined.

Talking about the role of commercial banks in the development of legal digital currency, some insiders said that the issuance of legal digital currency is divided into two types: direct and indirect. China's proposed legal digital currency adopts indirect issuance, that is, the central bank issues digital currency to accounts opened by individuals in commercial banks or payment institutions.

The reporter learned in the interview that the development of digital currency may affect the source of funds at the bank's liability end and increase the cost of liabilities; or it will affect the two types of intermediate businesses: payment settlement and settlement and digital currency custody. However, many details of digital currencies have not yet been determined, so the impact on the industry has not yet been determined.

The word "steady"

The reporter noticed that the Shenzhen Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government recently issued the "Shenzhen Action Plan for Building a Socialist Pioneering Demonstration Zone with Chinese Characteristics (2019-2025)". The Opinions are detailed, decomposed and implemented one by one. It proposes to carry out innovative applications such as digital currency research and mobile payment.

A person familiar with the matter revealed to reporters that the relevant technology of the pilot project is still in the testing stage. What the central bank has repeatedly emphasized is stability, because it is related to national economic stability.

"The technical support currently required for digital currency is mainly divided into two aspects. One is to undertake the digital currency management system of the central bank's issuance system, which is generally in the commercial bank, that is, the B-side; the second is the development of digital currency wallets, mainly for the C-side. This is what a FinTech company management person said.

It is reported that the issuance of legal digital currency is divided into two types: direct issue and indirect issue. Direct issuance is when the central bank issues digital currency directly to the account being opened, and indirect issuance is when the central bank issues digital currency to an account opened by an individual in a commercial bank or payment institution.

"China's proposed legal digital currency scheme intends to adopt a decentralized circulation model. Under the decentralized currency circulation model, the central bank entrusts commercial banks or payment agencies to manage individual digital currency accounts, and the transfer of money between individuals Adopting the blockchain technology of the alliance automatically, the main responsibility of a commercial bank or payment institution is to maintain the operation of the system. "He Ping, School of Finance, Renmin University of China, told reporters.

The management personnel of the above-mentioned fintech company added to reporters that in the process of operating digital currencies, banks mainly undertake issuance and settlement, and may also include interest calculation and exchange. "For the research of digital currencies, the current banking institutions have little difficulty in technology and business. The key depends on how the central bank's business rules are set." The source said.

A person from a bank in North China revealed to reporters: "After the digital currency is issued, the money on the customer's account should be changed into two parts, one is the money actually stored in the bank, and the other is the digital currency. But what can digital currency do? How much influence it has depends on the application scenario. Only when the business scenario is rich enough, the applicability of digital currency can be good. "

Qu Qiang, assistant director of the Institute of International Monetary Studies at Renmin University of China, said: "In fact, academia currently does not advocate the immediate application of digital currency to the domestic market, and the central bank is also cautious, because this is a path that no one has gone through. Digital currency Will the issuance lead to a decline in the currency multiplier? What to do with the impact of credit currency? Many problems need to be solved. At present, it is more realistic to use digital currencies for cross-border payments. Overseas, digital currencies can skip the Western-dominated financial transfer system. The role of digital currency is similar to cross-border bookkeeping vouchers, which is a more secure application of digital currency. "

No timetable

Talking about the impact of the issuance of digital currencies on banks, from the perspective of the central bank, the above-mentioned bankers in North China told reporters: "Issuance of digital currencies will improve the efficiency of central bank regulation, because the use of digital currencies will shorten the effective time of instructions and controllability Strong. "

He Ping pointed out: "In terms of deposit currency creation, the central bank only provides the base currency in the sense of original deposits. Commercial banks directly create credit currency creation, which plays an important role in the money supply. However, the number and pace of digital currency issuance by the central bank is directly controlled by the central bank. control."

"From the perspective of commercial banks, there are two types of existing currencies, one is cash and coins, and the other is deposit currency. With the constant demand for cash and coins, the new type of central bank legal digital currency Issuance may crowd out some of the amount of loans used by some banks to create deposit currency. Banks will naturally reduce their interest income because of this reduction in lending activities. For holders of legal digital currency, such as deposits in bank accounts or In exchange for savings, banks also lost interest on savings. "He Pingru said.

It is understood that DCEP is a type of digital currency developed by the central bank. Researchers from GF Securities (14.500, -0.32, -2.16%) use DCEP as an example to point out that DCEP may affect the source of funds on the bank's debt side and increase the cost of liabilities. In order to buffer the impact of DCEP on the liabilities of banks, the central bank may initiate multi-dimensional measures, such as not counting interest on DCEP. At the same time, DCEP may affect two types of intermediary services: payment clearing and settlement and digital currency custody. Commercial banks may consider hosting digital wallets as a new type of intermediary business in the future.

Qu Qiang told reporters: "The issuance of legal digital currencies by the central bank will definitely guarantee the stable operation of commercial banks."

In fact, the central bank has started research on digital currencies as early as 2014, and it has been 5 years. The central bank governor Yi Gang once revealed that there is no timetable for the issuance of digital currencies, and a series of research, testing, piloting, evaluation and risk prevention are needed, especially if digital currencies are used across borders, there are also anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism A series of regulatory requirements such as financing and anti-tax havens.

However, since this year, for digital currencies, the central bank's layout has become more frequent.

Earlier, the central bank issued the "Announcement on Recruitment (Recruitment) of Personnel of the People's Bank of China in 2020". Among them, the Digital Currency Research Institute of the People's Bank of China recruited six people, and required to study computer science, cryptography, microelectronics, and econometrics. Relevant work mainly involves software system research and development of fiat digital currency and related models, technology research and development of fiat digital currency trading terminals, and analysis of financial technology, digital currency, payment and clearing related fields.

Recently, Chen Yulu, deputy governor of the central bank, publicly stated that when developing digital currencies, on the one hand, it is necessary to strengthen the adaptability of the fiat currency system to the future digital economy ecology; on the other hand, it is also necessary to meet the challenge of global stable currency.

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