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China’s Digital Yuan Will be Tested With Alibaba’s Ant Group

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EDITOR NOTE: China is moving forward in piloting its digital yuan through Mybank, an online banking institution to which Alibaba’s Ant Group holds a significant share. The goal of domestic adoption is rapidly getting underway, with “internationalization”--the currency’s adoption among several countries for cross-border transactions--as China’s longer-term goal. The US is also piloting its digital dollar, but its immediate goal of research is far from any stage approaching adoption. This is one development that may inversely benefit gold and silver holders, as either case will spell either the downfall of the dollar or the end of American dollar wealth as we know it. If China’s digital yuan gains widespread adoption, it may replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. If the US gets its digital dollar up and running, it would give the Fed nearly unlimited control over the dollars we hold--the most drastic action being the implementation of negative rates to force us out of savings and into spending. Is there a way out of this system, the possible outcomes growing more dismal or draconian by the day? Non-CUSIP gold and silver are the only assets that can keep you safe from dollar declines and central bank overreach. They constitute the only means by which you can save your purchasing power, preserve your wealth, and maintain your financial control and privacy.

BEIJING — Ant Group, an affiliate of Alibaba, is becoming one of the first major privately run businesses to work with China’s digital currency trials.

MYbank — an online-only bank in which Ant has a 30% stake — is allowing some users to link their accounts with China’s digital yuan app, state-backed China Securities Journal said Monday.

The new feature is accessible to some users through Ant’s Alipay app, another report from the journal said. Alipay is one of the two primary mobile pay apps in China, where using smartphones for daily payment transactions is the norm.

In the last year, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has distributed several million dollars’ worth of a digital yuan through an app that is connected with the six major, state-owned banks. These tests have allowed selected users to buy products from participating brick-and-mortar stores and JD.com’s e-commerce app.

Ant did not confirm the exact nature of its participation in the digital currency project, but said that along with MYbank, the group would be involved with trials and research around the digital yuan — also called e-CNY — according to a statement.

“As one of the participants in the trial of the e-CNY, Ant Group’s associate MYbank will steadily advance the trial pursuant to the overall arrangement of the People’s Bank of China,” the company said. “Ant Group, together with MYbank, will also continue to support the research, development and trial of PBOC’s e-CNY.”

MYbank said it had more than 35 million small business and individual clients as of the end of last year, marking growth of 68% from the year before.

It was not immediately clear to what extent MYbank users could transact in the digital yuan.

The news comes as Chinese authorities seek to encourage spending through shopping festivals this month in Shanghai and other cities, where state media said some merchants are accepting the digital yuan.

Reuters reported in late February that MYbank and WeBank, an internet bank backed by Tencent, were joining the central bank’s digital currency pilot.

Chinese media noted on Monday that WeBank accounts were not yet activated for use with the digital yuan app. A representative for WeBank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ant’s increased involvement with the digital yuan comes despite increased scrutiny from Chinese regulators. Authorities abruptly suspended Ant’s massive IPO in November and last month, regulators said Ant would restructure as a financial holding company.

Unlike internationally popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, China’s digital currency is controlled by a single authority — the central bank.

Original post from CNBC

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