China central bank governor stresses privacy protection for e-CNY

"Anonymity and transparency are not black and white”, he warned, highlighting privacy protection as a major issue for applications.


A staff member of the Bank of Communications Beijing Branch instructs a visitor to open a digital RMB wallet on a mobile phone, on June 16, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

November 1, 2022

BEIJING – China will strike the balance between safeguarding personal privacy and cracking down on illegal activities when developing the digital yuan, said Yi Gang, governor of the country’s central bank.

“Anonymity and transparency are not black and white, and there are many fine details to weigh carefully,” the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, quoted Yi as saying in a statement published on Monday.

“In particular, we should strike a precise balance between protecting personal privacy and cracking down on illegal activities,” Yi said while speaking at a fintech event.

Yi highlighted privacy protection as one of the top issues regarding the applications of central bank digital currencies or CBDCs, adding the PBOC ensures personal information security with advanced technologies and strict management mechanisms.

The system of e-CNY, the country’s CBDC, anonymizes sensitive personal information and no entity or individual is allowed to access or use relevant information without legal authorization, Yi said.

He said the PBOC is working with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and other monetary authorities on CBDCs, hoping such cooperation will better serve the needs of international and domestic markets and consolidate Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center.

The PBOC is willing to strengthen CBDC cooperation with different monetary authorities and international institutions, Yi said, adding physical renminbi services will continue to fully meet public demand despite the central bank’s efforts to develop the e-CNY.

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