China’s new digital currency inspires tectonic shift in capital flows

China’s new digital currency inspires tectonic shift in capital flows

Steen Jakobsen
Chief Investment Officer

Summary:  China opens up its capital account, giving foreign investors full access for the first time.

See previous 2021 prediction

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) rolled out an advanced digital currency experiment in October 2020. The Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) will be a blockchain-based digital version of the Yuan (CNY). In 2019, 80% of all payments in China were through electronic payment via WeChat Pay and AliPay. The PBOC wants to take this one step further and in the process improve the efficacy of monetary and fiscal policy through an increasingly cashless society and with a goal of enhancing financial inclusiveness.

The next natural step for China’s digital currency would be as an aid in opening up the country’s capital account, which is currently severely restricted, making the CNY essentially unavailable to anyone outside of mainland China. Allowing full access for foreigners into Chinese capital markets will reduce the main barrier of concern for foreign investors for using the CNY in trade and investment: its liquidity and direct access to their investments inside China. Meanwhile, the stability of the Chinese currency and the built-in traceability and oversight that blockchain tech enables would virtually eliminate the risk of capital flight or illegal transfers out of China.

This idea sits well inside China’s Dual Circulation framework, improving transparency within China, while growing the CNY’s use externally as a compelling alternative to the US dollar in transactions, avoiding the latter’s weaponisation by the US. As a government-sponsored centralised currency, it will still be viewed as “fiat currency” and won’t have the appeal of decentralised blockchain-based currencies like Bitcoin; but from China’s perspective this is a feature of the digital Yuan and not a bug, as it allows negative rates for “cash”, and nominal GDP targeting is far easier to achieve as well.

Opening up China’s capital account and creating a currency that rivals the US dollar for reserve status will help boost Chinese consumption, fund an entirely new Chinese pension system and deepen the country’s capital markets.

Trade: Short the US dollar and overweight Chinese government bonds and equities versus the rest of the world.

See next 2021 prediction:
Revolutionary fusion design catapults humanity into energy abundance 

Disclaimer

The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service and access to Analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website. This content is not intended to and does not change or expand on the execution-only service. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Rules of Engagement and (v) Notices applying to Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Bank Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Bank Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Bank Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Bank Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (https://www.home.saxo/legal/niird/notification)
- Full disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/en-gb/legal/disclaimer/saxo-disclaimer)

Saxo Markets
40 Bank Street, 26th floor
E14 5DA
London
United Kingdom

Support Centre
For existing clients, please click here to request support via the Support Centre.

Have a question about our products, platforms or services? Visit the Support Centre to find answers for our most frequently asked questions. If you are still unable to locate an answer to your question, you will also find contact details for your local Saxo office to speak with a representative.

Contact Saxo

Select region

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Trade Responsibly
All trading carries risk. To help you understand the risks involved we have put together a series of Key Information Documents (KIDs) highlighting the risks and rewards related to each product. Read more
Additional Key Information Documents are available in our trading platform.

Saxo Markets is a registered Trading Name of Saxo Capital Markets UK Ltd (‘SCML’). SCML is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Firm Reference Number 551422. Registered address: 26th Floor, 40 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DA. Company number 7413871.

This website, including the information and materials contained in it, are not directed at, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity who is a citizen or resident of or located in the United States, Belgium or any other jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability or use would be contrary to applicable law or regulation.

It is important that you understand that with investments, your capital is at risk. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. It is your responsibility to ensure that you make an informed decision about whether or not to invest with us. If you are still unsure if investing is right for you, please seek independent advice. Saxo Markets assumes no liability for any loss sustained from trading in accordance with a recommendation.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Android is a trademark of Google Inc.