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China’s Sovereign Cryptocurrency: A Pipe Dream or a Draconian Movement Toward Totalitarianism?

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Analysis A number of articles have claimed that China is the first country to launch a sovereign cryptocurrency, but this is not exactly true. Money has three uses: as a medium of exchange, a store of value, and a unit of accounts. If an asset cannot be used to make purchases, stored in a savings account, or priced in goods and services, it is not money. China’s digital currency electronic payment (DCEP) or the digital yuan does not currently meet the above definition of money, although it seems the regime is keen on elevating the digital yuan’s status to that of currency. Initially, a test rollout was done for the digital yuan earlier this year, with a limited number of merchants and citizens participating. Products were bought and sold in digital yuan for a very brief period until the central government prohibited businesses from transacting in digital yuan. Since then, …

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