China vs. USA: The Digital Currency Wars Heat Up

Plus...Asteroid mining?

Happy Friday, Blockfolians!

The Lede

The central bank digital currency wars are getting a little hotter.

First, there is China. For more than 5 years, the country has been in R&D mode around a CBDC. Since Libra was announced, however, those efforts have been supercharged.

The Middle Kingdom versus the Exceptional Nation - Asia Power Watch

Today the Wall Street Journal broke that the country is on the verge of a massive expansion of their digital currency/electronic payment (DC/EP) system. New locations include Hebei province, the Yangtze river delta, Guangdong province and the cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Hong Kong and Macau.

The Fed also shared more details of its research into distributed ledger technologies. In the San Francisco Fed’s Innovation Office Hours, Fed governor Lael Brainard said

To enhance the Federal Reserve’s understanding of digital currencies, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is collaborating with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a multiyear effort to build and test a hypothetical digital currency oriented to central bank uses

She also specifically called out China as a state moving particularly fast around CBDCs.

The China-USA battle is one of the defining economic contexts of our time. It’s no surprise to see if take on this currency dimension as well.

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No caption necessary.