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Currencies

Digital yuan nears launch as China sweats over Libra

Sovereign virtual coin lets Beijing bolster oversight and boost currency abroad

Chinese President Xi Jinping appears intent on using the digital yuan to bolster the currency's presence globally   © Reuters

BEIJING -- China appears on track to launch a sovereign digital currency next year, becoming the first major country to do so, as Beijing aims to track money flows more closely and combat planned cryptocurrencies such as Facebook's Libra.

With work completed on conducting research and setting standards for the virtual yuan, the next step involves choosing a region for a test launch, Fan Yifei, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, said at the end of November. A month earlier, former Chongqing Mayor Huang Qifan told a Shanghai forum that the PBOC was likely to be the world's first central bank to launch a digital currency.

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