Alibaba will be the first retailer to be issued China’s state-backed cryptocurrency alongside six other Chinese financial giants.
China’s central bank will launch a national cryptocurrency dubbed DC/EP (Digital Currency/Electronic Payments) as soon as November this year, according to an anonymous source talking to Forbes.
The ecommerce giant will be among the first to receive the new asset when it launches, alongside its domestic tech rival Tencent and five of China’s largest banks.
READ MORE: Alibaba opens first physical store in Europe
Alibaba and the other companies will then be responsible for dispersing the cryptocurrency to anyone trading in China’s Renminbi currency, including 1.3 billion Chinese citizens.
The technology for the currency has reportedly been ready for a number of months, and the central bank hopes it will eventually be adopted in the United States and elsewhere.
“China is barreling forward on reforms and rolling out the cryptocurrency,” a separate source Paul Schulte, who worked as global head of financial strategy for China Construction Bank until 2012, told Forbes.
“It will be the first central bank to do so.”