Mu Changchun, the Deputy Director at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), launched an online audio course about Libra and digital currency in a popular Chinese education app De Dao on August 4, 2019.
It is not the first time Mu talked about Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra and digital currency. After Facebook announced Libra in June 2019, Mu has mentioned Libra and also Chinese digital currency DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment) frequently in multiple scenarios.
In July, he published an article on Caixin Weekly saying Libra should be included in the central bank’s regulatory framework in order to guarantee its stable development. In a financial forum in August, Mu said research on DCEP has been ongoing for five years, and DCEP would be released in the near future.
However, the audio course Technology Finance Frontier: Libra and Digital Currency Outlook is Mu’s first attempt to talk about Libra and digital currency systematically for online audiences on a large scale in China.
De Dao has 7,000,000 users in total, and there are 160 online courses ranging from literature study to development of critical thinking. Most of its classes cost between 199 RMB ($28.4 USD) to 19.9 RMB ($3 USD).
Mu’s class costs 19.9 RMB ($3 USD), allowing almost everyone able to access the eight-episode course taught by the top PBOC official.
In the intro episode, Mu shared why he wanted to launch the course. “Two months before I recorded this class, one thing happened that shocked the central banks around the world… As a researcher of digital currency and crypto assets, and also as a central bank officer, I believe it is important. Soon after the releasing of Libra, I decided to launch a course to talk about it.”
In addition to the intro and wrap-up episodes, four episodes focus on Libra — including an overview and the risks it might bring to the global economy. Mu emphasized that blockchain technology is not the only technology Libra used, so it technically cannot be called as blockchain cryptocurrency. Also, the safety, stabilization, and privacy of Libra are suspicious as an emerging digital currency introduced by Facebook, he said in class.
In the other two episodes, Mu introduced DCEP. He remarked that DCEP is an effective payment that allows money transfer without the internet and is also a safe digital currency backed by China’s central bank.
Students shared their thoughts on this unique course. “… It is a rare opportunity to hear from the deputy director of PBOC for such a small amount of money. I am grateful that Mr. Mu spent his time to bring the most authoritative information and knowledge to the public….” Someone said, “I agree with Mu’s opinion. Regarding the innovation of FinTech, the risk is the first thing to consider, and stabilization is the priority.”
There are few online courses that talk about emerging technologies such as blockchain and AI, and ones taught by Chinese top officials are rare. Both of the reasons make Mu’s class unique among all the online classes from multiple online education platforms.
Launched on September 4, more than 41,000 have signed up. The most popular episode Libra: The More Convenient Digital Currency than Bitcoin received more than 57,000 views in just two months… with more by the day.