- China’s central bank digital currency project nears launch as its pilot project hits over 1.1 billion yuan (~$162 million) in transactional volumes.
- The pilot project of the DC/EP project was carried out in major cities across China.
First reported by the South China Morning Post, the People’s Bank of China deputy governor, Fan Yi Fei, speaking at a SWIFT-organized virtual conference, Sibos 2020, stated massive progress in the digital currency and electronic payments (DC/EP) pilot projects.
So far, over 1.1 billion yuan (~$162 million) worth of transactions has been carried out on the central bank’s pilot programs ranging from paying bills across cities and utility bills. Additionally, over 113,000 personal digital wallets have been launched with a further 8,800 corporate digital wallets during the pilot phase.
Speaking on the progress, Fei confirmed over 3.13 million transactions had been processed so far given using the digital yuan. The PBoC tested the DC/EP project in some of China's major cities, including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Xiongan, in preparation for a full launch in 2022 during the Winter Olympics.
Fei termed the digital renminbi as an “important infrastructure for the future,” citing its widespread use in payments, including facial recognition, QR code, or tap-and-go payments systems. Furthermore, Fan confirmed over 6,700 use cases had been implemented as of the end of August across the test cities.
Such a case is the government’s initiative to launch e-yuan red packets in the Shenzhen state, aiming to reward over 5,000 medical and health workers for their selfless deeds in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. These red packets are acceptable in several stores in the Luohu district.
Fei, the former chairman of Shanghai Bank and deputy secretary of China Investment Corporation, has long been a supporter of digital currencies replacing banks across the globe in the future. With the central bank’s launch of its e-yuan edging closer to launch, the world’s second-largest economy could move to a totally cashless society.