China’s digital yuan breaks £12.4bn in transaction volume

Shanghai, China
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China’s CBDC project – the digital yuan – has seen more than 360 million transactions completed with a total value of 100 billion yuan (£12.4bn).

Although still in its pilot phase, such stats make the digital yuan, or e-CNY, the most widely adopted CBDC in the world.

The latest figures come from an official WeChat post by the Bank of China on October 10. Almost six million merchants are now supporting the digital yuan as legal tender across 15 provinces participating in the CBDC pilot.

Recently the pilot has been expanding amongst state institutions to cover a variety of citizen payments.

The Bank of China post reads: “Multiple e-government service platforms have opened digital payment services, supporting online and offline channels to handle various public utility payments, using digital [yuan] to issue tax rebate funds, special funds for monthly medical insurance payment, funds for helping people in need, and ‘specialised, special and new’ enterprise support funds.”

As the project continues to develop, the Chinese central bank has said it plans to launch cross-border payments between Hong Kong and mainland China. It is currently collaborating with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) to develop a cross-border option under the principle of “anonymity for small amounts and traceability of large amounts” to protect users’ personal data.

The Bank of China first launched CBDC trials in April 2020 with the ultimate goal of replacing cash with e-CNY. In September this year, it announced plans to extend the currency’s deployment to a further four Chinese provinces, notably Guangdong.

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