China’s central bank is hiring cryptography experts in the latest efforts to develop its own digital money, even as it bans the trading of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is seeking talent focused on areas ranging from finance to cryptography, according to job posts made public on Wednesday as part of the central bank’s annual hiring for 2019. It is seeking to recruit a total of four employees who specialise in computer science, cryptography or microelectronics, and hold a master’s degree or above, according to the job descriptions. The roles include the research and development of software, encryption models, and chips used for digital fiat currency and its trading. Preferred candidates include those who have experience in blockchain and big data. Cryptocurrency moguls make it to list of China’s richest people for the first time While China has banned everyday investors from trading cryptocurrencies, its central bank is leading the world in the development of a sovereign virtual currency that is cheaper to handle and easier to trace. In 2014 the PBOC began such initiatives by forming a research group, and last year officially launched the Digital Currency Research Institute headed by Yao Qian, a senior official with the bank’s technology department. Although the research institute has previously posted openings for computer science majors, it was the first time the body has specified it is now seeking talent in cryptography. An employee in charge of the hiring process declined to provide more information when contacted by phone on Thursday. The PBOC has yet to reveal a timetable for the launch of its fiat digital money. Beijing's ideal digital currency “must ensure the smooth running of monetary and financial stability policies and at the same time protect consumers”, Zhou Xiaochuan, the then central bank chief, said during a political gathering in Beijing in March. Last September, Chinese regulators banned initial coin offerings, declaring the novel crowdfunding method involving cryptocurrencies illegal. In the same month authorities ordered Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges to cease providing services to domestic customers.