China does not have a timetable for the launch of its new digital currency, its central bank governor Yi Gang said on Tuesday, saying more work was needed to address a series of regulatory issues, reported the South China Morning Post.
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) said last month the sovereign digital currency was “almost ready”, with some media speculating it could be launched as soon as November 11 to coincide with the Singles’ Day online shopping festival. But Yi poured cold water on prospects of an imminent launch on Tuesday, saying the central bank did not “have a timetable”.
The development of a digital coin required further “research, testing, trials, assessments and risk prevention,” Yi said at a press conference in Beijing.
China is the first major economy to explore launching its own digital currency and established a PBoC-backed research institute to study the field in 2016. Despite notching up dozens of patents over the past five years, China’s central bank disclosed little about the technology or design underpinning its coin until Facebook announced plans to launch a new digital currency named Libra last spring, a move that sent shock waves through central banks and financial institutions the world over.