China was one of the forerunners in developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) months before other countries and their central banks caught on. However, with its long preparation phase, many were beginning to wonder if China’s digital yuan would come to fruition in time, especially as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents an ideal opportunity for the digital currency to be launched. After months of waiting and vague updates from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the digital yuan has finally entered a pilot-testing phase in four cities, led by state-owned Agricultural Bank of China (ABC).
China’s digital yuan is more commonly known as the DC/EP. Users can access the mobile application created by the ABC on both Android and iOS, where users can enjoy features such as the in-built DC/EP wallet and payment transactions via QR code scanner or simply by touching someone else’s phone. The trial is available only in Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Xiong An at present, and only for users who have been whitelisted.
According to a user living in China who was interviewed by online crypto media publication Decrypt, the simple but effective functions for payment transfers seem rather “slick” and will come in useful in rural areas where connectivity could be low.
Leaked image of DC/EP application
Images of the app’s new interface were circulated on popular chat app WeChat, but how the pilot test will be carried out has not yet been revealed. Some users have noted that the app is not functioning well, but as the app is reportedly in test mode and is only ready for registration currently, a full assessment of the app will have to wait.
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