Official digital currency of China not yet to be issued: Central bank | Updated: 2017-06-23 10:49

China is not yet ready to issue an official digital currency of the nation, nor has it authorized any institute to do so. This is according to China's central bank, which made the statement to address rising digital currency fraud and virtual currency prices.

According to a notice issued by the Gold and Silver Bureau of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the so-called digital currency in the market now is not legal, as the central bank has not yet issued a legal currency.

The PBOC said at a January seminar that it will issue official digital currency as soon as possible. Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the central bank, elaborated that the digital currency issued by the PBOC will be mainly responsible for replacing cash, so as to bring down costs and improve the efficiency of circulation.

The concept of digital currency is increasingly popular, especially as certain forms like Bitcoin gain value. The PBOC warned that some institutes and companies promoting digital currency are likely perpetrating pyramid schemes or other fraud. As early as 2013, Bitcoin was classified as a virtual commodity rather than a legal currency.

Issued by the Jiangsu Internet Finance Association in April, a report on Chinese internet pyramid schemes observed that there are over a dozen digital currencies in China, all of which are "illegal pyramid schemes in the disguise of digital currencies."

In May, a court in Peixian county, Jiangsu province sentenced a man to four years in prison for organizing a pyramid scheme in the name of promoting "Markcoin" and "Vikcoin." The organization turned out to have lured hundreds of thousands of clients, and the amount of money involved potentially reached hundreds of millions of renminbi.

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