The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has launched a pilot test wallet for its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) dubbed the e-CNY. As reported by local media platform, BlockBeats, the e-CNY mobile wallet is now available on the Apple App Store as well as the Google Play Store respectively.
The launch of the app will mark a new phase in the PBoC’s attempt to propound the development of its CBDC which entered the advanced retail testing stage back in 2020. The wallet will enable holders to store their digital Yuan, provide the digital money’s personal wallet opening and management, and conduct pilot trials amongst others.
Reuters reported that the pilot CBDC wallet is aimed at a few designated citizens as it is still in an experimental research and development phase and is only accessible to select individuals through authorized e-CNY service providers. Indications on when a full-blown wallet will be made available were not unveiled, however, the Chinese Central Bank is doing all it can to advance the course of its Digital Yuan development as the Beijing Olympics draws nearer.
The apex bank has expressed its plans to make the Digital Yuan available for transactions to foreign athletes, a move that will complement the earlier successful retail pilot transactions the new form of money has been subjected to. Infact, local retail stores, JB.com accepted Digital Yuan for purchases during last year’s Single’s Day shopping festival
China’s PBoC Winning the CBDC Race?
Undoubtedly, China’s PBoC remains the most advanced central bank that has showcased enormous strides with respect to its e-CNY growth. Toward the end of last year, PBoC Governor, Yi Gang said the bank will continue with the development of its CBDC in relation to design, use cases, and interoperability with the current payment system.
While China has lagged behind countries like the Bahamas and Nigeria in launching its own digital money, the scale of the country’s proposed Digital Yuan surpasses those of the two countries. While many analysts posit that the country is leading the CBDC race ahead of other prominent economies like the United States, the UK, and the European Union, the emphasis has always been on getting it right in order not to disrupt the financial ecosystem as a whole.
Despite the traction that the PBoC has made thus far, an official date in which the Digital Yuan will be launched has not been announced yet.