China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has already processed 1.1 billion yuan (~$162 million) worth of digital currency in pilot transactions. According to the South China Morning Post, the new detail was revealed by PBOC’s deputy governor Fan Yi Fei at the SWIFT-organized virtual conference Sibos 2020. Fan said 3.13 million transactions have already been processed using the digital currency as of late August. This is the first time a PBoC official has revealed specific details about the digital yuan.
The pilot program ran in several major cities.
The PBoC official also confirmed that the pilot programs were running in major cities, including Shenzhen and Xiongan, and have made “positive progress.” Pilots will also be conducted at the coming Winter Olympics in 2022, according to the central bank. According to Fan, more than 6,700 use cases of digital yuan have already been tested, including bill payments, transport, and government services. The Chinese government has also used digital yuan “red packets” to reward about 5,000 medical workers involved in coronavirus treatment, said Fan. These red packets can reportedly be used at select merchants in the Luohu city.
PBoC is all set to issue digital yuan to the general public.
The “PBOC regards digital renminbi as an important financial infrastructure for the future,” Fan Yi noted. He went on to say that more than 113,300 personal digital wallets and about 8,800 corporate digital wallets have already been opened as part of the pilot transactions. The details revealed by the PBoC official indicate that China’s digital yuan, officially known as Digital Currency Electronic Payment is nearing official launch. China started researching digital currencies in 2014, well ahead of other major economies globally, including the U.S. and the EU, which have only recently begun their initiatives.