China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates have signed up yo participate in a a “Multiple Central Bank Digital Currency Bridge” (m-CBDC Bridge) to explore how they might conduct cross-border transactions using cryptocurrencies.
The People’s Bank of China, the nation’s central bank, characterised the Bridge as an experiment to find ways to make cross-border payments more efficient, cheaper, and more transparent. The Bridge extends a previous experiment conducted by China and the UAE.
“The participants of the project will evaluate the feasibility of m-CBDC Bridge application in cross-border capital transfer, international trade settlement and foreign exchange transactions, among others,” the People’s Bank said in its announcement.
The advent of the bridge comes as China accelerates tests of its Digital Yuan , a national cryptocurrency that will make all transactions trackable within China. Recent Digital Yuan tests have seen it linked to big online payment platforms from Alibaba and Tencent, and even trialled in vending machines for train tickets in Shanghai. China hasn’t set a date for its wide introduction.