The People's Bank of China is "almost ready" to launch its own digital currency, a senior official says.
Mu Changchun, deputy director of the central bank's payments department, made the comments at a forum over the weekend, according to press reports.
The impending launch comes after five years of work. The People's Bank set up a research team to investigate a digital currency back in 2014.
Details of the project are scant, but the currency will rely on a two-tier system meaning that both the central bank and commercial financial institutions can issue it. Blockchain technology will be used but not exclusively.
In addition to speeding up the transition away from cash, the digital currency is designed to give China's authorities more control over the financial system, says Bloomberg.