During a virtual video session at the Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies’ 30th Anniversary Conference, People’s Bank of China governor Gang Yi discussed recent developments regarding the country’s central bank digital currency, or CBDC, known as the digital yuan (e-CNY). Gang specifically addressed the issue of privacy surrounding the Digital Yuan in the following statement, as translated by Cointelegraph:
We are taking a high degree of focus on issues surrounding the security of personal information and the digital yuan and have made relevant regulatory and technological adjustments to meet this objective. We have adopted a principle of anonymity for small transactions regarding the digital yuan and will only step in to regulate under the law for large transactions. When it comes to collecting personal data, we seek only to collect what is necessary and the minimum of what is legally required, which is far less than electronic payment apps of today.
Gang spoke on the storage and utilization of personal information belonging to users of the technology adding:
At the same time, we seek to control the storage and use of personal information strictly. Unless the law demands it, the PBoC will not hand over such information [on e-CNY users] to any third-party or government agency. In recent years, China has passed multiple laws to facilitate the safety and protection of personal data from a regulatory standpoint.
In recent months, the number of people with e-CNY accounts has ballooned to over 140 million. At the same time, its transaction volume surpassed 62 billion yuan ($9.7 billion) in October. When discussing the next steps forward for the CBDC, Gang explained that while the e-CNY remains confined mainly to consumer spending in China’s retail sector, there are plans for cross-border expansion:
The PBoC wishes to cooperate with central banks, international agencies, and cryptocurrency entities across the globe. We have already launched an mCBDC Bridge with the Bank for International Settlements, The Bank of Thailand, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. We have also begun technical discussions with the European Central Bank regarding the design of CBDCs.