China is not slowing down in its blockchain ambitions and is in the final stages of the formation of a new coalition dedicated to the technology. The launch of its highly anticipated central bank digital currency has also been stepped up as leaked screenshots of the DC/EP app reveal that it could already be in the testing phase.
China’s central government has officially announced the members of its newly formed national blockchain committee. According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announcement, there are currently 71 members making up the coalition which has been dubbed the ‘National Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology Standardization Technical Committee.’
Bank and Tech Giants Dominate Chinese Blockchain Coalition
An official from the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) Currency Research Institute has been included as one of five vice presidents of the committee. Members also include at least a dozen representatives from some of the top universities in China.
Representatives from telecoms and tech giants in the private sector are more notable as it signals a possible partnership between government and corporate entities in the development of distributed ledger technology.
According to CNBC, eCommerce and tech firms like Baidu, Alibaba, JD.com, Tencent, and Huawei, all have representatives on the committee.
However, the member list is not conclusive yet as the Ministry has asked the public for feedback until May 12.
Crypto Yuan App Images Leaked
Around the same time that the blockchain consortium announcement was made, alleged leaked screenshots from the official digital currency/electronic payment (DC/EP) app were revealed.
China has been actively researching its own central bank digital currency for years but recent local reports had suggested this venture had been put on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The DC/EP app screenshots suggest otherwise.
Executive Director of M&A for Binance, Ling Zhang, posted the images adding that four cities will be available for trials, including Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou, and Xiongan.
CEO of Sino Global Capital Matthew Graham also leaked images of the app confirming that this version of it circulating was designed for the Agricultural Bank of China.
It was also revealed that there is an ‘offline mode’ whereby digital yuan can be transferred simply by touching the sender’s and receiver’s phones together.
Others in the fintech and cryptocurrency industry have also shared screenshots of the app commenting that, in addition to the four banks, China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom will be first telecoms companies selected for trials.