Unlike ‘conventional’ cryptocurrencies, a central bank controls digital yuan — in this case, the People’s Bank of China. The move gives the country more power and, in theory, more stability than frequently volatile formats like bitcoin. China can do more to embrace a cash-free society without leaning on foreign technology.
China won’t be alone. Countries like Japan and Venezuela are either exploring or using their own digital currencies. This move could put China ahead in real-world use, though, and might fuel other countries’ efforts to develop virtual cash.