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  • By some accounts ancient China is the birthplace of currency. Around 770 BCE people there started

  • exchanging coins for goods and services, though rather than the familiar round minted shape

  • we're used to today, thesecoinswere cast in the shape of shells, or miniatures

  • of common tools like spades or knives. So, it might be fitting that the first country

  • that could abandon physical money in favor of digital legal tender is China again. How

  • will it work, what are the pros and cons, how is it different from cryptocurrency, and

  • what does this mean for the rest of the cash-using world? Part of the reason China has taken

  • the lead creating a state-backed digital currency is because they initially lacked the credit-card

  • based payment infrastructure of other countries, like the U.S. So, tech companies like Tencent

  • and Alibaba developed apps that let people exchange money digitally with their phones.

  • The apps have proven extremely successful, with hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens

  • using them regularly. Six years ago, China's central bank saw the upsides of developing

  • their own digital yuan. As of April 2020, the program is being taken for a test run

  • in four Chinese cities. The details on how the currency actually works aren't very

  • well known, but a few things are clear. The digital yuan is tied to the value of the normal,

  • physical yuan. Since it's state backed, that means the

  • government is liable for it and it should be stable, compared to cryptocurrencies like

  • Bitcoin, where the value can swing wildly. And because it's backed by the state, that

  • means it'll be more widely accepted. Already, nineteen companies including McDonald's

  • and Subway are participating in the trial. A major roadblock to the adoption of cryptocurrencies

  • has been their lack of government recognition and widespread acceptance. But cryptocurrencies

  • do have some benefits that China's officially sanctioned ebucks lack, especially when it

  • comes to privacy. A huge appeal of bitcoin and others like it

  • is the blockchain, an encrypted and decentralized ledger tracking where the money goes. While

  • the blockchain is public, anybody using it can remain anonymous.

  • But if China's central bank develops and distributes the currency, then they can see

  • exactly who is involved in every transaction. China has a notorious history of being a surveillance

  • state, and this could be another avenue to continue their monitoring methods. All of

  • these advantages and disadvantages to each approach have left the future of digital currency

  • up in the air, and it's anybody's guess what'll happen next. Will the digital yuan

  • spread globally because of its convenience and stability, or will the rest of the world

  • opt out of handing their financial data over to China? Will the U.S. government attempt

  • to digitize their own dollar? Nobody really knows the answer to any of these

  • questions yet, but fortunes will be won and lost as we find out. I'm no financial guru

  • but I will make this prediction: while a digital currency seems all but inevitable, not everyone

  • will have access to the technology to use it, and others will still prefer old-fashioned

  • physical money. Even if digital currency becomes widespread soon, cold hard cash isn't going

  • to vanish. At least, not right away.

  • If you're curious about encryption, check out this video I did on prime numbers.

  • So what would it take for you to use a digital currency?

  • Let us know in the comments below and make sure to subscribe. Thanks for watching

  • and I'll see you next time.

By some accounts ancient China is the birthplace of currency. Around 770 BCE people there started

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中国が独自のデジタル通貨を発表、その理由はここにある (China Is Launching Its Own Digital Currency, Here's Why)

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    Summer に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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