作者：Yinan Zhao, Heng Xie, Zheping Huang, and Ling Zeng译者：数链评级Shulian Ratings日期：2019年9月11日，GMT + 8上午5:00原文：www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-10/why-china-s-rushing-to-mint-its-own-digital-currency-quicktake
The People’s Bank of China is poised to become the first major central bank to issue a digital version of its currency, the yuan, seeking to keep up with — and control of — a rapidly digitizing economy. Unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, though, dealing in the digital yuan won’t have any presumption of total anonymity, and its value will be as stable as the physical yuan, which will be sticking around too. Some questions remain, including the impact on commercial banks as well as Big Tech companies such as Ant Financial and Tencent Holdings Ltd. that already offer payment services.
Behind China’s rush is a desire to manage technological change on its own terms. As one PBOC official put it, currency isn’t only an economic issue, it’s also about sovereignty.
1. 中国央行的计划是什么？What’s the plan?
并非所有细节都已公布，但根据中国人民银行注册的新专利和官方发言，它可能会起到这样的作用：消费者和企业会在他们的手机上下载数字钱包并从他们的帐户中加载数字现金银行 – 类似于操作ATM机器。然后他们像使用现金一样，与其他拥有数字钱包的人一起支付款。
Not all the details are out, but according to new patents registered by the PBOC and official speeches, it could work soming like this: Consumers and businesses would download a digital wallet on their mobile phone and load the digital cash from their account at a commercial bank — similar to going to an ATM. They then use that like cash to make and receive payments with anyone else who also has a digital wallet.
Aren’t most transactions already electronic?
Yes. China is increasingly a cashless society.
即使是小城镇的街头食品商贩也会更愿意使用移动支付应用，且不会轻易变更。根据研究公司易观国际（Analysys）的数据，在2019年第一季度，这些应用程序在中国处理了59万亿元人民币（8.3万亿美元）的交易，比去年同期增长了15％。Even street-food sellers in small towns will prefer to use a mobile payment app than make actual change. Inthe first quarter of 2019, such apps handled 59 trillion yuan ($8.3 trillion)of transactions in China, up 15% from a year earlier, according to researchfirm Analysys. 蚂蚁金服的支付宝处理了近一半，腾讯的微信支付处理了其中的三分之一。中国人民银行表示，所有非现金交易（包括信用卡、借记卡、储值卡、银行转账和支票等）在2018年总计3.8万亿元。这一趋势并非中国所独有：瑞典央行调查发现2018年只有13％的人以现金购买支付，低于2010年的39％。Ant Financial’s Alipay handled almost half of that, followed byTencent’s WeChat Pay with a third. The PBOC says all non-cash transactions(which also includes such things as credit, debit and stored-value cards, banktransfers and checks) totaled 3.8 quadrillion yuan in 2018. The trend is hardlyunique to China: A central bank survey inSweden found that only 13% of people in 2018 paid for their most-recentpurchase in cash, down from 39% in 2010.
3. 那么为什么中国人民银行还会这样做？So why is the PBOC doing this?
有重要的监管和政治考虑因素。There are important regulatory and political considerations.能够在转手时以电子方式跟踪货币，这对于打击洗钱和其他非法活动非常有用。该项目由前中国人民银行行长周小川在2018年3月退休启动。他希望保护中国不要有一天采用像其他人设计和控制的比特币这样的标准。Having theability to track money electronically as it changes hands would be useful incombating money laundering and other illegal activities. The project wasstarted by former PBOC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, who retired in March 2018. Hewanted to protect China from having to some day adopt a standard, like Bitcoin,designed and controlled by others. Facebook公司计划在2020年推出自己被称为天秤座的数字货币，可能会加速发展，因为它最终可能加强美元的主导地位，并削弱中国的资本管制。正如中国人民银行研究局局长王信在7月提出的那样，可能会产生“经济，金融甚至国际政治后果”。Facebook Inc.’s push to introduce its owndigital coin, called, in 2020 may be speeding things up, as it could endup strengthening the dollar’s dominance — and weakening China’s capitalcontrols. As the head of the PBOC’s research bureau, Wang Xin, putit in July, that could have “economic, financial and eveninternational political consequences.”
4. 它是加密货币吗？Is it a cryptocurrency?
可能不是。Probably not. 当我们说加密货币时，我们通常指的是比特币这样的产品，它使用去中心化的在线分类账（称为区块链）来验证和记录交易。它和其他如一样支持匿名转移而无需中间人或中央银行。然而，它们价值的大幅波动使它们不适合用作支付手段。When we say cryptocurrency, we usually mean an offering suchas Bitcoin that uses decentralized, online ledgers known as blockchain to verify and record transactions. It and others such as Ethereum support anonymous transfers without theneed for a middleman — or a central bank. The wild volatility in their value,however, makes them ill-suited for use as a means of payment. 天秤座也将是一种加密货币，即所谓的稳定币，100％由一篮子证券和现实货币支持，如美元、欧元、英镑和日元。因为这些波动不大，天秤座的价值也应该稳定。至少，Libra最初将由Facebook、Visa和优步等私人公司经营。当然，中国人民银行将支持数字化人民币，但与去中心化数字货币相反。Libra will also be a cryptocurrency, but a so-called stablecoin, 100% backed by a basket of securities andreal-life currencies such as the dollar, euro, pound and yen. Because thosedon’t fluctuate much, Libra’s value should be steady as well. Initially atleast, Libra will be run by private companies including Facebook, Visa andUber. The PBOC will, of course, back the digital yuan, making the currency the opposite of decentralized. 它也不确定是否会使用区块链。It’s also not certain that it will use blockchain,either.
5. 为什么不使用现有的货币？Why not use existing coins?
2017年，中国禁止加密货币交易所和所谓的初始代币发行，同时广泛努力清理其金融体系的风险并打击所谓的影子银行业务。加密货币仍然可以交易，但需通过一个更慢、更严格的过程。China banned cryptocurrency exchanges and so-called initial coin offeringsin 2017 amid a broad effort to cleanse risk from its financial system and clampdown on so-called shadow banking. They can still be traded, but through aslower, more restrictive process. 数字货币也可能提供一种将资金转出中国的方式，可能会增加资本外流，从而削弱人民币的价值。即使天秤座还未出世，中国官员也要求货币当局进行监督。（Facebook的网站在中国被禁止，但许多中国人通过称为虚拟专用网络或VPN的解决方案访问它。）Digital currencies also could provide a way to move money out of China, potentially adding to capital outflows that would undermine the yuan’s value. Even though Libra isn’t out yet, Chinese officials have called for oversight by monetary authorities. (Facebook’s website is banned in China, but many Chinese access it via a work-around called a virtual private network, or VPN.)
6. 为什么不使用区块链？Why not use blockchain?
中国人民银行已经考虑过这一点，但研究人员对该技术是否能够支持大量同步交易表示怀疑。根据另一位中央银行官员穆长春的说法，中国2018年的双11购物节的支付需求达到每秒92,771笔交易，远高于比特币的区块链所能支持的交易。The PBOC has considered it, but researchers have expressed doubts about whether the technology would be able to support a large volume of simultaneous transactions. China’s annual Singles’Day shopping gala in 2018 had payment demand peaking at 92,771 transactions per second, far above what Bitcoin’s blockchain could support, according to another central bank official, MuChangchun.
7. 隐私怎么样？How about privacy?
穆长春说，银行希望在匿名和打击金融犯罪的必要性之间“取得平衡”，但目前还不清楚这意味着什么。央行表示，用户信息不会完全暴露给银行。但是，用户身份可能会与个人钱包挂钩，从而为当局提供了进入人们生活的另一个窗口。央行副行长范一飞在2018年的一篇文章中建议，银行可能需要每天提交交易信息，并且可能会对个人交易设置上限。The bank wants to “strike a balance” between anonymity and the need to crack down on financial crimes, Mu said, but it’s unclear what that means. The PBOC has said that user information won’t be completely exposed to banks. But user identities will likely be tied to individual wallets, giving authorities another window into people’s lives. PBOC Deputy Governor Fan Yifei suggested in an article in 2018 that banks may need to submit daily information on transactions and that there could be caps on transactions by individuals.
8. 什么时候到来？When’s it coming?
似乎很快。Soon, it seems. 穆长春于8月份表示，数字货币“呼之欲出”。中国人民银行至少从2014年开始研究数字货币，并且一直在招聘一个专门的研究机构。中央规划提到了有关数字货币的研究和创新，以使深圳这个毗邻香港的技术中心在2025年之前进入世界级城市。Mu said in August that the digital cash is “close to being out.” The PBOC has been looking into a digital currency since at least 2014, and it’s been recruiting staff for a dedicated institute. Research and innovation regarding digital currencies was mentioned in the grand plan to make Shenzhen, the technology hub next to Hong Kong, into a world-class city by 2025.
9. 人们会用它吗？Will people use it?
很难说。It’s hard to say. 中国人民银行的数字钱包只是一个钱包，至少目前如此，而现有的支付宝和微信支付深深植根于社交媒体、电子商务、乘车、账单支付、投资和其他功能等整个世界。总部位于上海的开源区块链平台Neo创始人达鸿飞表示，他不明白为什么普通公众会选择中国人民银行的数字货币，其并非非像支付宝一样方便。The PBOC’s digital wallet is just a wallet, at least fornow, whereas the incumbents Alipay and WeChat Pay are deeply embedded in awhole world of social media, e-commerce, ride-hailing, bill-paying, investmentsand other functions. Da Hongfei, the Shanghai-based founder of open-sourcedblockchain platform Neo, said he can’t see why the general public would choosethe PBOC’s digital currency over something as handy as Alipay.
10. 银行将如何受到影响？How will banks be affected?
主要是记账。Mainly in bookkeeping. 数字现金必须与常规储蓄分开，因为它代表实际流通中的资金（在中央银行业务中称为M0），而不是所谓的活期存款（M1），银行用来向公司和家庭再贷款。商业贷方将在中央银行存入100％的储备以换取数字货币，然后将其分配给零售用户。双层系统还减轻了中国人民银行履行尽职调查、改造IT系统和回答客户请求的负担。Digital cash would have to be kept separate from regular savings, because it represents money in actual circulation (known in central banking parlance as M0), not the so-called demand deposits (M1) whichbanks use to lend out again to companies and households. Commercial lenders would deposit 100% worth of reserves at the central bank in exchange for digital currency, which it then distributes to retail users. The two-tier system also reduces the burden on the PBOC to perform due diligence, revamp ITsystems and answer client requests.
11. 其他经济影响？Any economicimpact?
可能不会马上。Probably not immediately. 由于中国人民银行的数字货币旨在取代现金，它不会对广义货币供应产生重大影响，因此其对货币政策的影响可能是中性的。根据中国人民银行数字货币研究机构2018年发表的一篇文章，如果数字货币被广泛接受并鼓励人们持有更多现金，银行存款可能会下降，但影响将是可控的。在更遥远的未来，央行可能会使用数字货币来帮助引导经济。As the PBOC’s digital money is designed toreplace cash, it won’t have a big impact on the broad money supply, and therebyits affect on monetary policy will likely be neutral. If the digital currencyis widely accepted and people are encouraged to hold more cash, bank depositscould decline, but the impact will be manageable, according to a 2018 article fromthe PBOC’s digital currency research institute. In a more distant future, thecentral bank might use digital currency to help steer the economy. 2018年10月公开的专利申请描述了一种货币，要求银行在转移资金之前输入借款人和利率的细节。这可以让中国人民银行在其认为合适的情况下更积极地控制银行贷款和直接融资。此外，如果中国需要转向非常规货币政策工具包，数字化货币将允许其对持有数字现金的人采用负利率。Patent filings made public in October 2018 described a currency that would require banks making loans to input details about borrowers and interest rates before funds could be transferred. That could allow the PBOC to more proactively control bank lending and direct funding where it deems appropriate.Furthermore, should there be a need for China to turn to an unconventional monetary policy toolkit, digitized currency would allow it to apply negative rates even for people holding digital cash.
12. 其他央行在做什么？What are other central banks doing?
乌拉圭已经开展了一项名为e-Peso的试点计划，受到国际货币基金组织的赞扬。委内瑞拉有一个名为石油的有争议的项目，瑞典的瑞典央行正在探索电子克朗。上个月，英格兰银行行长马克卡尼呼吁类似天秤座的储备货币结束美元的统治地位。2019年初国际清算银行的一项匿名调查显示，大多数全球央行都在参与理论概念研究。Uruguay has done a pilot program,called e-Peso, that was praised by the International Monetary Fund. Venezuela has a controversial offering called the petro, and Sweden’s Riksbank is exploring ane-krona. Last month, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney called for Libra-like reserve currency to end the dollar’s dominance. An anonymous survey by the Bank for International Settlements in early 2019 showed most of the global central banks are participating in theoretical and conceptual research.
·QuickTakes on Facebook’s Libra coin, stablecoins, what happened to ICOs, Tether and blockchain.·Bloomberg Opinion’s Andrew Browne on China’s crypto ambitions.·Sweden’s Riksbank has an e-krona project wellunder way.·Read more on the PBOC’s thinking on Libra.·The PBOC’s deputy governor writing on why central banks should lead the wayon digital currencies.