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The central bank's digital currency sprint: 9 major forces participate in the four regions' horse racing

Time : 21/11/2021 Author : anfm35 Click : + -
        In the past half month, the central bank has repeatedly stated its position on promoting the research and development of legal digital currency, which has triggered the market's expectation of accelerating the implementation of DC / EP pilot. On the evening of April 14, two screenshots circulated in the community showed that Agricultural Bank of China was conducting an internal test on the wallet of DC / EP. On the 15th, it was also reported that DC / EP would be piloted in the form of transport subsidies in Xiangcheng District of Suzhou in the near future. In this regard, a person close to the supervision told the reporter of China Business Daily: at this stage, we can not answer the relevant questions, and we can continue to pay attention to the official caliber. A big pedestrian disclosed to the reporter that the internal test version should only be a phased product. At present, the pilot cities Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and xiong'an have different emphasis on the division of work in the scene direction.
        In addition, more than one person in the industry disclosed to the reporter that in addition to the four major banks and three major operators previously disclosed by the media, ant financial and Tencent also played a role. However, the specific entry form and scene scope have not been clarified. The reporter noticed that according to the "patent search" on the official website of the State Intellectual Property Office, since February, many patent applications involving "digital currency" of "Alipay (Hangzhou) Technology Co., Ltd." as the applicant have been published, indicating that it is making continuous technical preparations in undertaking the circulation of digital currency. As the wallet application that flowed out this time is an internal beta version, users who have not entered the white list cannot register for use. The reporter can only understand its basic functions through the front-end display and application screenshots. From the public information, it basically reflects a series of positioning descriptions of DC / EP by the central bank.
        The front end of the app shows that this wallet basically includes the basic functions of daily transactions such as "code scanning payment" and "remittance". The special functions are "touch" and "DC exchange". Among them, the "touch" actually reflects the central bank's technical positioning for DC / EP to support "dual offline payment", that is, two mobile phones can be contacted to realize transactions, so as to ensure currency circulation under extreme circumstances such as "network and communication cut off". While "DC exchange" is used to convert the deposit (M2) in the bank account into DC / EP (M0), reflecting the positioning of DC / EP focusing on "M0 substitution" & mdash& mdash; The deposit / withdrawal of digital currency is reflected in the mutual conversion between the user's deposits (belonging to M2) and digital currency (belonging to M0) in commercial banks.
        According to previous public statements of central bank officials, DC / EP has multiple characteristics: including M0 attribute, centralized management, legal compensation, non repeatable spending, controllable anonymity, etc. In fact, this is not the first "outflow" of the central bank's digital currency pilot progress. In October 2019, there was an unconfirmed screenshot of the service agreement related to the "ICBC digital currency wallet" app on the Internet. The screenshot shows that the wallet is a carrier of legal digital currency and a payment tool relying on the legal digital currency circulation system. In addition, according to the content of the agreement at that time, the wallet was divided into four levels according to the degree of real name, revealing the exploration of how to deal with "anonymity" in DC / EP circulation.
        In the test wallets of the Agricultural Bank of China, users can also select the four types of wallets in the relevant options. From the perspective of C-end, the functional experience of the above products is not very different from the common payment tools in the market at present, but the currency attribute and circulation path behind them are different. In December last year, an authoritative person privately told reporters that since the central bank's digital currency mainly focuses on M0 substitution, the clearing settlement form is different from the traditional electronic payment system, and complex functions such as "double offline" and smart contracts will be introduced in the future. Previously, although the central bank's digital currency has established a "two-tier operation system" (from the central bank to the commercial bank / commercial institution level and from the commercial bank to the user level), the circulation form under the system is not clear, especially the role of the clearing institution in it is unknown.
        It is worth noting that in February this year, four members of the blockchain research group of the digital currency Research Institute of the people's Bank of China, including Mu Changchun, published a signed article on China finance, pointing out that it is not recommended to transform the traditional payment system based on the blockchain. At that time, a person close to the research group privately told the reporter that the digital currency DC / EP system was a new payment system. A person from the clearing institution told the reporter: at present, the signs we have seen do show that DC / EP is an independent system, and how the clearing institution participates needs to be clarified by the high level. In fact, as the central bank's promotion of digital currency is visible, the authoritative official voice is always limited, and the public disclosure information is mainly targeted at the top-level design and technical route. It is mentioned in the central bank's 2019: financial science and technology released in September that the central bank basically completed the top-level design, standard formulation, functional research and development, joint debugging and testing of legal digital currency in 2019.
        According to a previous report in Caijing, in terms of the pilot, the digital currency Research Institute of the central bank launched the "horse racing mode", and the participants in the pilot choose their own scenarios and technical routes. If the pilot effect is good, direct adoption is not excluded. A person who has long studied the central bank's digital currency and participated in the local DC / EP landing project told the reporter that the current pilot branches are "racing around the land" fiercely, and there may be "consumer voucher subsidy" and "targeted poverty alleviation" in the form exploration. The reporter has noticed that according to the media reports, the pilot project in Xiangcheng District of Suzhou & mdash& mdash; It is distributed in the form of traffic subsidies through digital wallets.
        If the subsidy is also targeted in the use scenario, it will have the characteristics of "quasi consumption voucher". However, the above-mentioned personages revealed that the competition among different places is still relatively different. Each bank will also emphasize the combination with the advantages of scene resources. For example, Chengdu focuses on the "three rural" scene and Suzhou focuses on trade. However, the aforementioned large state-owned banks and people in the clearing industry confirmed to the reporter that ant financial and Tencent have participated in the design of relevant schemes related to DC / EP circulation, and it is not known in what form they will participate in the "pilot". Neither Alipay nor wechat payment declined to comment. The clearing industry believes that since it is DC / EP, there is no payment channel.
        The two at's participation is not because they are "wallets" of third-party payment institutions, but because they have banking institutions, and wallets are only tools for banks to reach users. The reporter noticed that at least from the perspective of patent application, Alipay has been making continuous preparations. According to the "patent search" on the official website of the State Intellectual Property Office, since February this year, with "Alipay (Hangzhou) Information Technology Co., Ltd." as the applicant, the number of patents involving "digital currency" has increased intensively, and up to the time of press release, the number of patents has reached 5. Most of the above patents were applied in the second half of last year, covering wallet opening, transaction processing, anonymous transaction system, account control, etc., basically covering the complete bearing of DC / EP issuance and circulation.
        In addition, ICBC has a prominent number of patents in large state-owned banks. Its patent applications include "a merchant acquiring method and system based on digital currency", "an offline payment method, terminal and agent delivery device based on digital currency" and "a digital currency wallet authentication system and method based on Eid", which involve the dual offline technical requirements and final acceptance form of DC / EP. In addition, the upstream and downstream institutions of the industrial chain, including clearing institutions, ATM equipment, u-shield equipment manufacturers, operators, etc., have also been involved. The reporter found that China UnionPay, China Unicom, radio and television Express (002152. SZ), Feitian integrity (300386. SZ), Sifang Jingchuang (300468. SZ) and other companies have one or more patent applications involving "digital currency", which shows that the industry chain has been preparing for the circulation of DC / EP.
        The screenshots of internal documents exposed in December last year showed that Tencent internally issued the notice on establishing a digital currency research project team (Virtual Organization) and designating relevant responsible persons, specifying that the organization is responsible for promoting the work of the digital currency research project, following up the implementation of the latest policies of relevant government departments, and carrying out digital currency related research, business model innovation and application scenario landing verification. In addition, although banks other than the four major banks have not participated in the DC / EP pilot for the time being, some practitioners in the blockchain field disclosed to the reporter that some joint-stock banks are also preparing projects related to legal digital currency, and it is not ruled out that they will gradually enter the market in the future.
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