Unconfirmed: Eight Institutions to Get China’s Digital Currency First

According to sources, the People’s Bank of China is giving its first round of central bank digital currency (CBDC) to online retail giant Alibaba, Internet giant Tencent, five banking organizations and one unknown entity.

Forbes reported the news on Aug. 27. The sources named are Paul Schulte, who previously worked as head of the China Construction Bank, and an anonymous individual identified as part of China’s CBDC project. According to Schulte, the first beneficiaries of China’s CBDC are Alibaba, Tencent, China Construction Bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China and Chinese banking association Union Pay.

The anonymous source reportedly confirmed that these seven entities will indeed be among the first to receive China’s CBDC, which they are calling DC/EP — an abbreviation for Digital Currency/Electronic Payments. However, there is apparently an unnamed eighth beneficiary who will also join this cohort of DC/EP handouts. Additionally, the source reportedly claimed that the technology was ready to ship, and that the DC/EP could roll out as early as Nov. 11.

These seven institutions will purportedly be responsible for dispersing the DC/EP tokens to China’s citizens and others participating in business with the renminbi — China’s official fiat money — per the unnamed source. Moreover, the source reportedly said that China’s central bank is keen on circulating the DC/EP tokens to buyers in the United States too, via correspondent banks, but not immediately.

China may issue its CBDC before Facebook rolls out Libra, per official sources. Moreover, a director at Renmin University of China, Yang Dong, claimed that Libra actually motivated the CBDC designers to involve non-governmental entities in the issuance process, as well as development.

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