According to the Chinese media outlet Securities Times, Beijing and Shanghai citizens can now apply to one of six state-owned Chinese banks for a digital yuan wallet. The six banks in question are the Bank of Communications, Postal Savings Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and the Bank of China. The People’s Bank of China has been piloting its digital currency for quite some time now.
China has been at the forefront of the world’s pivot to digital currencies.
The move is part of a broader push on the Chinese government’s part towards a digital yuan, also known as the (Digital Currency Electronic Payment) DCEP. At the end of last year, over 2 billion digital yuan had already been spent in about 4 million separate transactions. At the time, that equated to approximately $300 million. This has been the by-product of years worth of concerted effort on behalf of the Chinese government to embrace digital currencies. The PBoC had established a Digital Currency Research Institute back in 2014.
Central banks continue to explore CBCDs.
Last year, China issued 10 million worth of digital yuan to Shenzhen citizens, but now China has moved on from digital currency lotteries. Now, Beijing and Shanghai citizens can simply apply for a digital yuan wallet, potentially opening up the digital currency market to many more interested parties. Central banks across countries are currently experimenting at different levels with having a CBDC. Some central banks are awfully close at issuing it, while some are just starting to explore the idea. Bank of Japan had earlier announced they would start experimenting with a CBDC later this year. The Reserve Bank of India has also expressed interest in exploring a central bank-backed digital currency.