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Why China’s Rushing to Mint Its Own Digital Currency

“The People’s Bank of China is poised to become the first major central bank to issue a digital version of its currency, the yuan, seeking to keep up with — and control of — a rapidly digitizing economy. Unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, though, dealing in the digital yuan won’t have any presumption of total anonymity, and its value will be as stable as the physical yuan, which will be sticking around too. Some questions remain, including the impact on commercial banks as well as Big Tech companies such as Ant Financial and Tencent Holdings Ltd. that already offer payment services. Behind China’s rush is a desire to manage technological change on its own terms. As one PBOC official put it, currency isn’t only an economic issue, it’s also about sovereignty.”