China’s Blockchain Service Network outlined an audacious plan for a global network that will support future central bank digital currencies from multiple countries. The national blockchain network aims to build the universal digital payment network (UDPN) in five years, starting with a beta version in the second half of 2021. The outline does not mention China’s digital yuan or eCNY, although doubtless, this will be one of the first to be used. Several countries are actively working on CBDCs.
China’s blockchain network has massive plans.
In many ways, Blockchain Network Service is trying to create the next generation of the internet, supporting and interconnecting multiple public and private blockchains in its international network. The Chinese version of the network supports only enterprise blockchains. Its original aim was to make blockchain affordable for individuals and SMEs, with pricing and accessibility similar to low-cost cloud hosting. In its blog post, the network envisions a not too distant future where several countries will have digital currencies. It’s not claiming to have government agreements, given most countries have not yet made CBDC decisions. But as many CBDCs are likely to be distributed via banks, it plans to build the UDPN with international banks and technology companies.
Central banks continue to explore CBDCs.
Several major central banks in different countries are now actively researching central bank digital currencies and making real-world testing plans. Though many smaller economies have already launched versions of their digital currencies, China is the only major one to complete the development and initiating a full-fledged plan to test the digital yuan. As reported earlier, Cayman island launched a national digital currency this year. Countries including Canada, Japan, the Philippines, and many others are actively exploring CBDCs.