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Chinese FX Regulator Advocates CBDC Programmable Features for Enhanced Monetary Policy

In a report by state media on Friday, a Chinese foreign exchange regulator official in Shanghai highlighted the potential of “programmable features” within a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to bolster the effectiveness of monetary policy tools.

As the development of CBDCs gains momentum globally, with China actively involved, Lu Lei, deputy administrator of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), suggested that these digital tokens, currently largely regarded as M0 currency, could be integrated into M2 currency, incorporating deposits and savings, leveraging their programmable attributes.

Shanghai Securities News outlined that the adjustable nature of CBDCs can allow for the implementation of varying features, such as setting expiration dates or imposing restrictions on specific uses.

Lu further expressed optimism that the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) could harness these features to regulate CBDC rates, potentially contributing to the management of the macroeconomy. Additionally, he emphasized the potential of cross-border payments facilitated by CBDCs, which could ensure secure, convenient, and inclusive transactions.

Last year, Chinese state-owned banks participated in a trial centered on cross-border transactions developed by the Bank of International Settlements.

Notably, transactions using China’s CBDC, the e-CNY, reached 1.8 trillion yuan ($249.33 billion) by the end of June. However, the circulation of e-CNY accounted for just 0.16% of China’s M0 money supply.

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