China’s New Cryptocurrency May Look Like Facebook’s Libra

Senior officials at China’s central bank announced that the country is working on a digital coin that will bear many of the same characteristics as Facebook’s upcoming Libra. However, while Libra is still in its developmental stages, China’s currency may already be on the market by November 11th of this year. China was very early on the cryptocurrency bandwagon, with a research team being tasked with finding out the pros and cons of developing a cryptocurrency coin for the country as early as 2014.

Similar But Not a Copy

China’s as-yet-unnamed coin will closely resemble Libra, but it won’t be an exact copy of the social media giant’s cryptocurrency. Facebook’s coin was announced in June of this year, and the currency is expected to be backed by real-world assets. Even though the leader at the face of the development of the coin is the social media giant, Libra will have input from other companies as well, since the currency is being created through a consortium.

China’s Coin Will Have Retail Applications

Among the platforms that will be accepting China’s digital currency when it comes on stream will be Alipay and WeChat. The central bank went on to assure potential users that the cryptocurrency will be as safe in value as the paper money they distribute within the country. Additionally, the bank claims that the coin can be used even without an internet connection, which, if it is true, may be an innovation for cryptocurrencies.

Driving International Adoption of the Yuan

If China’s cryptocurrency is tied to the same value as the country’s yuan, then by releasing the coin into the world, China may be seeking a more extensive adoption for their national currency. The coin could protect the yuan’s monetary sovereignty and be used to back further commercial applications within the country and abroad.