JD.com, an e-commerce firm in China, has partnered with the Digital Currency Research Institute of People’s Bank of China (PBoC) to promote the creation of wallets that support China’s CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency). This is as China prepares for the launch of its digital Yuan.
The partnership would promote the development of mobile applications and blockchain platforms that are in line with China’s forthcoming CBDC and would be integrated into JD Group’s existing platforms and services.
PBoC championing CBDC race
So far, China has been ahead of other countries in the CBDC race. The country completed the backend architecture development of its digital Yuan in June, Wang Zhongmin, vice chairman of PBoC’s National Council for Social Security Fund, announced.
China’s CBDC is undergoing its pilot project. Companies like Chinese Uber, DiDi Chuxing, among others are partnering with the PBoC for the test. This means JD is not the first firm to cooperate with PBoC on CBDC development.
However, China’s CBDC pilot test has been progressing. The country’s Commerce Ministry shared plans to expand the trials to Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei provinces. The test kick-started in the Hong Kong Greater Bay area involving Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Macau.
China’s CBDC and the West
China’s effort towards creating a CBDC has raised the alarm in the West. Several bankers globally have also shown interest in pursuing similar projects.
Accenture and the Digital Dollar Foundation published a whitepaper in May, laying out proposals for developing a CBDC in the US.
Reportedly, the Project is aimed at protecting the USD’s status as the world’s reserve currency. It is perceived that the USD may be under threat with other national governments exploring launching CBDCs.
However, the paper also featured the contribution of a digital dollar to international payments, pointing the possibilities of enhancing competition in global payments and integrating financial markets.