High-ranking Chinese official Huang Qifan believes that Facebook’s Libra is doomed to fail and that China’s central bank will be the first to issue a digital currency.

Qifan, who serves as vice chairman of the China International Economic Exchange Center, made his comments Oct. 28 at the first Bund Financial Summit. According to a Chinese media report, Qifan predicts China’s central bank to be the first to issue a national digital currrency, 

I think the technology is getting more mature, and it is highly likely that China’s central bank will be the first to issue a national digital currency.

Reports earlier in the year claimed that a central bank-backed digital currency was ready to launch in China, and could happen as early as November 2019. 

Qifan also took aim at Facebook’s digital currency Libra, which has come under fire by U.S. lawmakers and regulators around the world. The Chinese official believes that the crypto will ultimately fail, as it lacks the support of real sovereign wealth, 

I personally don’t believe Libra will succeed. Some companies attempt to challenge sovereign currency by issuing bitcoin or Libra. The decentralized blockchain-based currencies are not supported by sovereign credit and hard to become real wealth.

Following last week’s Congressional grilling of Mark Zuckerberg over Libra, U.S. Senator Mike Rounds issued an open letter warning of the dangers in falling behind China in financial innovation. 

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