The Chinese central bank has denied issuing any form of digital fiat currency following reports that fraudsters are using its name to engage in fraudulent sales.
The People’s Bank of China announced via its official website that it has not yet issued any form of statutory digital currency, and that any digital currency being circulated under its name most likely involves pyramid selling or other forms of fraudulent activity.
On 15 June PBOC’s Currency, Gold and Silver Bureau issued its “Risk Warning in Relation to the Fraudulent Use of the Name of the People’s Bank of China to Issue or Promote Digital Currencies,” which stated that some companies have been using the term “Authorised for Issuance by PBOC” to sell digital products, or falsely claimed to be members of PBOC’s digital currency promotion team.
On the same day a number of fake screen shots of central bank digital currency policies did the rounds on WeChat and QQ circles dedicated to investment in virtual money.
China’s central bank has since warned the public that there is no digital currency on the domestic market which is considered to be statutory or fiat money, and that the only fiat currency within China is the Renminbi which is printed and issued by the People’s Bank of China.
PBOC’s ongoing enthusiasm for digital currency may have abetted the ability of fraudsters to dupe credulous domestic investors, with the China’ s central bank sponsoring much research into the potential of the burgeoning Fintech sector.
Last year in September the Notes Exchange Platform Preparatory Group and the Digital Currency Research Preparatory Group took the lead in establishing a preparatory group for the creation of a digital notes exchange platform, which has since conducted successful tests of block-chain based digital notes and a digital currency system whose underlying technology is owned and developed by PBOC.
In May PBOC also established its own Fintech Policy Committee, as well as appointed former head of the PBOC Science and Technology Department Tao Qian to head its digital currency research group.