Chinese city Suzhou is reportedly rolling out a test for the country’s central bank digital currency dubbed DC/EP in “red packets” starting next month. The Paper, an online media under the state-owned Shanghai United Media Group, reported that the trial would take place on December 12, a date that’s known as Double 12 in China – a year-end shopping festival. It was also already reported earlier that some government employees were given transportation allowances in digital yuan – also known as DC/EP – as part of an ongoing trial in Suzhou.
The trial in Suzhou will be similar to the earlier pilot of digital yuan.
According to local news reports, the form of the wider trial in Suzhou will be similar to the one that was carried out in Shenzhen in October, where about $1.5 million in digital yuan was given out to 50,000 residents as “red packets” via a lottery. Residents who won the lottery could spend the free digital yuan at any of the more than 3,000 stores that participated in the Shenzhen trial. The People’s Bank of China is all set to become the world’s first major nation to issue a central bank-backed digital currency.
Central banks around the world explore CBDCs.
China may be ahead in issuing a central bank-backed digital currency, but it’s not the only country working on a digital currency. Several central banks around the world are actively working on issuing a CBDC. Though many smaller economies have already launched versions of their digital currencies, China is the only major one to complete the development and initiating a full-fledged plan to test its CBDC. As reported earlier, the Cayman island launched a national digital currency this year. Countries including Canada, Japan, the Philippines, and many others are actively exploring CBDCs.