Chinese Central Bank Launches Digital Currency Lab in Nanjing, Fintech Firm in Shenzhen

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The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has announced the launch of a new fintech and digital currency research institute in the Jiangsu province capital of Nanjing.

The Nanjing Fintech Research Innovation Centre (南京金融科技研究创新中心) and People’s Bank of China Digital Currency Research Institute (Nanjing) Application Demonstration Base (中国人民银行数字货币研究所(南京)应用示范基地) was officially opened in the Jiangbei New District of Nanjing on the afternoon of 28 August, according to a report form The Beijing News.

The initiative was jointly launched by the PBOC Digital Currency Research Institute and the Nanjing branch of PBOC, in collaboration with the Nanjing People’s Govenrment, Nanjing University and Bank of Jiangsu.

According to a press release the Innovation Centre will focus on research into digital currency encryption algorithms and blockchain base level core technologies at the behest of the PBOC Digital Currency Research Institute.

Nanjing university will contribute its technological and human resource advantages in the areas of blockchains, digital encryption, big data and artificial intelligence.

In addition to the new Nanjing-based research base, the PBOC Digital Currency Research Institute has also invested in the establishment of Shenzhen Fintech Co., Ltd. (深圳金融科技有限公司), which was established on 15 June 2018.

The business scope of Shenzhen Fintech is “fintech-related technological development, technological consulting, technological transfer and technological services; fintech-related systems development and operations maintenance.”

Former PBOC chief Zhou Xiaochuan announced the launch of a digital currency research institute prior to his retirement in March of this year.

Despite a crackdown on cryptocurrencies launched by Beijing in September 2017, blockchain technology and applications remains a key focal area for Chinese fintech R&D initiatives.

China and the People’s Bank of China in particular have topped recent rankings of blockchain patent applications for 2017.

A recent opinion piece published by PBOC’s official newspaper has pointed out, however, that blockchain technology may not be suitable for a central bank digital currency.

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