China Spent 10 million yuan on its Biggest Public Trial for World’s 1st Official Digital Currency “Suzhou”


October 19, 2020 3:35 pm

China DC
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China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) is the country’s biggest public tests, it pushes closer toward creating a cashless future. Last week, the government in Shenzhen carried out a lottery to give away a total of 10 million yuan (about $1.5 million) worth of the digital currency. Nearly 2 million people applied and 50,000 people really won.

The major Chinese city of Shenzhen has launched a pilot program to promote the digital yuan with a public giveaway on Oct. 9. 

As per the report by local news agency Sina Finance, Shenzhen had collaborated with China’s central bank digital currency and distributed a total of 10 million digital yuan ($1.5 million).

As reported earlier on Oct. 12, a total of 2 million people applied to participate in Shenzhen’s digital yuan giveaway program. Shenzhen authorities officially announced on Oct. 18, that a total of 47,573 out of 50,000 lottery winners in China have received their prizes and the vast majority of China’s $1.5 million digital yuan lottery winners have received and spent their “red packets” of digital yuan.

According to the announcement, the winners conducted a total of 62,788 transactions accounting for 8.8 million yuan ($1.3 million). This amount represents about 88% of the total 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) that was to be distributed in the giveaway pilot in Shenzhen.

Some of the winners have also topped up their wallets, having purchased an additional 901,000 yuan ($134,000). 

Lottery organizers will take back the unused amount of the digital yuan packets if winners do not spend it by Oct. 18.

The Suzhou trial

Since April 2020, the Screenshots of a purported pilot version of a wallet app for China’s digital yuan was circulating on social media.

The executive director of M&A, Global Fiat, Ling Zhang, at cryptocurrency exchange Binance first shared the images on April 14, following retweeted by the exchange’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao.

Screenshot ostensibly showing a new testing wallet app for the digital yuan. Source: @lingzh1220

For the initial trial, in mid-April, the People’s Bank of China tested DCEP as part of a transport subsidies scheme for government and enterprise workers in Suzhou — a major city in Jiangsu Province. The four banks involved in the scheme are the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China, the Bank of China and the China Construction Bank.

The app was initially made available for download in four selected cities — Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Xiongan, which is currently being tested in nine cities including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, as well as Hong Kong and Macau.

Ling Zhang highlighted the inclusion of Xiongan, a new metropolis located on the outskirts of Beijing, which has been the site of a so-called “smart city brain project.” The Xiongan New Area will have enhanced intelligent infrastructure that spans satellite information services, sensor recognition, a 5G network, supercomputing and big data facilities. The city has already attracted the country’s tech giants Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu, with President Xi Jinping visiting on more than one occasion.

On March 24, the Bank of China was claimed to have completed the development of the currency’s basic functions and to have then moved on to drafting laws for its implementation.

According to a report on Aug. 14, by the Wall Street Journal, that it will expand the trials of the nation’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to include Beijing, as well as Tianjin and Hebei provinces and the nation’s Ministry of Commerce announced that the policy framework should be complete by the end of 2020.

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