On December 11, news appeared about open-ended trials of China’s national digital currency (DCEP). Based on the report, 10 thousand residents of Suzhou received an airdrop of over $3 million in digital yuan. In a trial, lucky winners have conducted about 20,000 transactions via JD.com, the largest online retailer.
As per Global Times, the local media outlet, the e-commerce giant recorded significant participation from users born in the 1980s and 1990s. During a trial, almost 80% of users conduct transactions with at least one transaction greater than $1,500.
Suzhou municipal government reportedly gave away approximately 100,000 “red envelopes” holding $3 million in digital yuan in a lottery for residents. On October 9, Shenzhen, a major Chinese city, had also launched a similar program to distribute digital yuan worth almost $1.5 million. Through a lottery, 50,000 residents received the pilot giveaway.
Future Plans for Digital Yuan
The managing director of the Digital Renaissance Foundation in Shanghai Cao Yin said, “In 2021, China will continue to look for more scenarios to test the digital yuan, but an extensive launch is still unlikely.” Yin further added that the authorities would probably keep conducting trials till the government officials are convinced the digital yuan can be securely launched:
“We have only ourselves to compete with on this matter, and there’s no need to rush it.”
Since launching the digital yuan trials, the People’s Bank of China has actively been conducting pilot programs. As of early November, more than $300 million worth of transactions were processed during pilot testing in four major cities, including Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou, and Xiongan.
Moreover, China’s central bank and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority are in the exploratory phases of testing the digital yuan for cross-border payments. In August 2020, a report surfaced in the crypto market that China’s central bank is looking to launch digital yuan before the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, announced to be held in Beijing.