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China is using Digital Lotteries to Promote State-Backed Cryptocurrency





China is using lotteries to test its new digital currency, DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment). According to a notice from the government of Shenzhen, the city is preparing this week to conduct its second lottery to pay out prizes exclusively in the new currency, following a successful debut draw last October.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced the creation of DCEP in November last year. DCEP is the world’s first state-backed cryptocurrency. It has prompted concern in the West that Beijing is exploring the creation of a completely cashless society, upon which it can exert greater control.

Mu Changchun, head of the PoBC’s digital currency research institute, has said DCEP is not about control. But he added that it will help authorities to monitor money movements related to organized crime, tax evasion, and online gambling. The government is waging a longstanding war against gaming sites that target its citizens.

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.










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