China passes cryptography law as it gears up for digital currency

China passes cryptography law as it gears up for digital currency

China’s largely rubber stamp parliament has passed a new law on cryptography as the country gears up to launch its own digital currency, state media reported at the weekend.

China’s central bank set up a research team in 2014 to explore launching its own digital currency to cut the costs of circulating traditional paper money and boost policymakers’ control of money supply.

China’s proposed new digital currency would bear some similarities to Facebook’s Libra coin and would be able to be used across major payment platforms such as WeChat and Alipay, a senior central bank official said last month.

China’s cryptography law, which takes effect on January 1, is aimed at “facilitating the development of the cryptography business and ensuring the security of cyberspace and information”, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing parliament.

The law says that the state encourages and supports the research and application of science and technology in cryptography and ensures confidentiality.

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