China ‘set to launch’ trial of e-RMB digital currency

CHINA’S central bank has stepped up development of a digital currency likely to become the first to be operated by a major economy.

The sovereign digital e-RMB currency will be pegged to the national currency. The central bank had said it was “almost ready” to release the e-RMB late last year, but that was delayed. New reports from China say trial payments will begin in several major cities any day now.

State-media outlet China Daily reported the digital currency’s adoption into monetary systems. Early trials are to focus primarily on food and retail sectors, but government employees and civil servants may soon receive their salaries in e-RMB.

A sovereign digital currency would “blunt the impact of any sanctions or threats of exclusion” at country and company levels, according to an article in China Daily.

Digital payment systems, social distancing and limits on movement are thought to be causing a radical decline in the use of cash worldwide.