Edith Yeung, a partner at blockchain-focused venture capital fund Proof of Capital, has recently said she believes China will “definitely” launch its digital currency in 6-12 months.
Speaking to CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal and Christine Tan at the CNBC East Tech West conference in China, Yeung noted the Chinese government has been looking into launching its own digital currency for years, and has already identified entities for a potential rollout.
She said she believes China’s Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) currency, believed to be a virtual equivalent to the yuan, is going to be launched “quite soon.” Yeung added:
So I think definitely within the next six to 12 months.
While not a lot is known about China’s upcoming digital currency – not even if it will be backed by blockchain technology – an official from the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), China’s central bank, has said the DCEP will meet demand for anonymity, providing people with “controlled anonymity.”
The proposed digital currency is coming at a time in which the U.S: and China have been fighting over trade and technology in what some claim is a struggle for global leadership. The U.S. dollar is currently the world’s reserve currency, but Yeung said the DCEP could help grow the use of the Chinese yuan and even “challenge the U.S.”
Referring to an initiative from Chinese president Xi Jinping called One Belt One Road, which is looking to connect the infrastructure of more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, Yeung noted:
Can you imagine, especially for the One Belt One Road initiative, they (start) to lend all in virtual RMB? Many of these countries will want to work with China to start adopting virtual RMB.
Per the fund manager, the U.S: needs to “hurry up to have a strong thinking and policy, at least a direction for virtual USD.” Later on in the interview she addressed Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency Libra, and said it inspired other countries to issue their own digital currencies.