China has apparently begun to roll out the blockchain wallet associated with its forthcoming national stablecoin, according to screenshots seen on social media. Twitter users have been posting about their experiences using the test version of the smartphone app, which, when officially rolled out, would allow the country’s 1.4 billion people to spend their national currency via the app using blockchain technology as its backbone.
First glance of DC/EP
Can be send/receive when both party are offline pic.twitter.com/aQCdZQG5he
— molly (@molllliy) April 14, 2020
DC/EP original pics, installation and interface*
Direct link for installation: https://t.co/6WGFstyMAe
*need to be on whitelist to register
**not sure if geofenced pic.twitter.com/sN7oa9P94F
— Matthew Graham (@mattysino) April 14, 2020
Test Version Quickly Removed
The test version of the wallet, which has been designed for the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), utilizes Digital Currency Electronic Payment, known as DC/EP, the national cryptocurrency first mooted last year. The DCEP is pegged 1:1 to the Chinese National Currency, the RenMinBi (RMB), and users will be able to buy DC/EP within the app direct from their bank accounts, once they pass KYC.
The trial, which was only allowed to be installed by users on a whitelist and has since been removed, illustrates just how close China is to fulfilling its ambitions in terms of a national cryptocurrency, and how far ahead they are of contemporaries such as the US and European nations.
Should China be able to achieve such a move without these other powers having gone further than exploratory discussions on the subject, it would clearly demonstrate that China is winning what some have termed the forthcoming ‘blockchain war’.
Blow to Privacy Advocates
While the Chinese government may be celebrating the apparent success of the trial, privacy advocates will be reacting in the exact opposite manner. Utilizing a private, centralized blockchain in the way that China plans to do will allow the state to observe every single transaction made by a citizen, representing a new step in authoritarianism by the regime.
Because of this reason few will likely voluntarily take up the DC/EP when it finally launches, with mandated use likely being enforced in the years to come.