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Even official money is quasi-private in Hong Kong, with people interchangeably using the IOUs of its three note-issuing banks. But as central banks around the world plan to take cash digital, can this arrangement hold up? Or will the city’s 7.5 million residents have to deal in a brand new currency, a direct liability of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority?

The answer may be of global interest as governments everywhere are under pressure to adapt to the new technology.

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