China expands digital yuan usage for cross-border trade

China is expanding the use cases for its central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital yuan, also known as e-CNY, to promote cross-border trade in its Belt and Road initiative. The digital yuan was one of the first CBDCs to be developed and widely tested, with the government having expanded its testing parameter to include multiple cities and millions of people.

Xuzhou, a trade hub in Jiangsu province, plans to promote the use of e-CNY to pay for services and storage charges for goods carried by cross-border trains, according to a plan promoting the use of the Chinese digital currency in cross-border trade that was issued in the city. There are 18 regular cross-border rail connections from Xuzhou to 21 nations in Asia and Europe, making it an ideal location to pilot the use of e-CNY in cross-border payments.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is also testing the digital yuan as a cross-border payment tool in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. “The HKMA is working with mainland’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, to test the digital yuan as a cross-border payment tool in Hong Kong,” said HKMA deputy chief executive Darryl Chan. The Chinese government hopes to improve efficiency and reduce the cost of cross-border transactions with these pilot projects.

Jiangsu province has been proactive in promoting digital yuan use cases, with Changshu, another city in the province, announcing that it will pay civil servants and people who work for public institutions using digital yuan. The Chinese government has ramped up its CBDC efforts at a time when the international trade markets are moving away from the standard U.S. dollar. Recently, China has completed multiple trade treaties with the likes of Russia and India based on their national currency over the U.S. dollar.

While the digital yuan has not yet been officially launched, the government’s efforts to test and expand its usage suggest that it is moving closer to a launch. The expansion of the digital yuan’s use cases for cross-border trade is part of a broader trend towards the digitalization of currencies, with other countries also exploring the use of CBDCs. China’s efforts in this area may give it a competitive advantage in the international trade markets, particularly as countries seek to diversify away from the U.S. dollar.

In addition to its use in cross-border trade, the digital yuan may also have implications for domestic payments in China. The Chinese government plans to use the digital yuan to reduce its dependence on the traditional banking system and to increase financial inclusion for those who are currently unbanked. The success of the digital yuan could also help China to expand its economic influence in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, as other countries adopt its use in cross-border trade and potentially even domestic payments.

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PBOC Governor Says Digital Yuan Will Prioritize Privacy Protection

Yi Gang, the Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has reiterated that discussions on its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) dubbed the Digital Yuan (e-CNY) are more centered on the privacy aspects of its operations to users.

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Speaking at the Hong Kong Fintech Week, Yi said privacy protection is top on its list.

 

Coming off as one of the Central Banks with a vested interest in CBDCs, the PBoC said its e-CNY is mostly focused on retail domestic transactions as a major complement to cash in the digital world. It said in a bid to protect consumer privacy, that it has employed a 2-tier system.

In the first tier, Yi Gang acknowledged that the PBoC facilitates inter-institutional transfers with banks under its jurisdiction. At this stage, no customer information is collected. In tier 2, the banks distribute the e-CNY directly to consumers but obtain only the information that will enable them to stand right by the law.

Yi Gang noted that no entity will be able to probe a transaction without any rigorous legal permission, granting most users the safety they need to embrace the e-CNY.

“The PBOC ensures personal information security through advanced technology and strict management, with full adherence to consumer privacy protection laws and regulations. Transaction-related data is encrypted for storage,” Yi Gang said in the speech further assuring that “Sensitive consumer information is de-identified to non-transacting parties. Entities and individuals are prohibited from arbitrary inquiry or information usage without rigorous legal authorization.”

China comes off as the world’s most advanced economy with a functional CBDC in circulation. While the digital legal tender has not been officially launched for everyone in the country to use yet, its retail pilot tests have been robust, with a presence in top cities including Suzhou, and Shenzhen amongst others.

Yi Gang said the PBoC has an active collaboration with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) as regards CBDC interrelationship and he said the bank is interested in creating other such relationships with other Central Banks around the world.

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China’s Digital Yuan Has Topped Over $14 Billion in Transaction Volume

The Chinese Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) also known as the e-CNY has hit close to $14 billion (100.04 billion Yuan) from 360 million transactions as it gains widespread acceptance in the country. 

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The People’s Bank of China reported the news and that about 15 provinces have been selected as of August 31 to carry out the work of distributing the digital Renminbi (RMB) across10 institutions in various sectors such as healthcare, education, culture, and tourism. 

The report also revealed that the e-CNY, which meets the public’s demand for mobile payments and provides safe and innovative payments for visitors from outside of China, was included at the 2022 Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics in Beijing.

A number of e-government platforms have established the Digital Renminbi Payment Services, which encompass both online and offline channels to handle a variety of public utility payments. The e-CNY can also be used to provide tax refund money, special funds for monthly medical insurance payments, funds for helping persons in need, and “specific, special, and novel” Enterprise assistance funds.

The advantages of the e-CNY as a form of legal tender include trust, interoperability, and late development which is helpful in increasing transaction transparency and intelligent level of fund management while lowering settlement and compliance costs.

China is Accelerating The Digital Economy.

Even though the e-CNY doesn’t appear to have increased exponentially since the People’s Bank of China reported it had transacted over $12 billion (87.565 billion Yuan) in January, there is still hope that the number of transactions will rise before the end of the year as the digital renminbi pilot project is put into action.

The Bank of China recently introduced an educational electronic RMB smart contract prepaid fund management product, expanding the pilot’s focus to school education, in partnership with the Education Bureau and the financial authorities of Chengdu’s Longquanyi District.

China has kept up its impressive efforts in perfecting the e-CNY. The digital yuan app now enables users to use the e-CNY to pay for public transportation on 10 bus lines.

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China Central Bank Releases Digital CNY Smart Contract Prepaid Fund Management Product

According to the China Financial Association, the Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China has launched a digital renminbi smart contract prepaid fund management product – “Yuanguanjia”.

The product was launched to the public across the country at the 2022 Second China (Beijing) Digital Finance Forum held on September 8.

It aims to provide users with prepaid consumption service scenarios by deploying smart contracts on digital RMB wallets. A solution to prevent merchants from misappropriating funds and protect users’ rights and interests.

This product solves the problem that users avoid merchants running away with prepaid consumption and protects consumers’ rights and interests.

The company that released the digital renminbi smart contract prepaid fund management product-Beijing, Central Business District Xinlian Technology Co., Ltd., said that: “this model transforms prepaid consumption into instant consumption, further clarifies that the ownership of prepaid funds belongs to consumers, and ensures that prepaid funds are not was misappropriated.”

Data shows that the digital yuan (e-CNY), the digital currency of the People’s Bank of China (CBDC), is growing rapidly. Since the public trial, transactions in the new fiat currency have totalled 87.57 billion yuan ($13.68 billion).

Last month The Bank of China, in collaboration with the Education Bureau and financial authorities of Longquanyi District, Chengdu, launched an educational electronic RMB smart contract prepaid fund management product, extending the pilot scope to school education,

As reported on August 25 by blockchain.News, the Beijing municipal government has announced a two-year (2022 – 2024) Metaverse innovation and development plan that will require all districts to follow the newly released Web3 innovation program guidelines.

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$30m e-CNY Airdropped in Shenzhen to Boost Consumer Spending

The use of China’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is currently being boosted by the city of Shenzhen, according to reports that the authority has airdropped 30 million Digital Yuan (e-CNY) to its residents.

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According to the Shanghai Securities News, the airdrop was aimed at changing the resident’s consumer spending habits to be appropriately revitalized.

Per the report, the airdrop will be made or distributed through food delivery giant, Meituan Dianping, one of the private partners helping the Chinese government with the broad retail testing of the e-CNY. In order to receive the Digital Yuan airdrop, interested users will need to indicate interest in the program by signing up on the Meituan app, and applying for the incentive.

The final beneficiaries will be selected based on a lottery system, a trend which is common to Shenzhen and e-CNY airdrops. Successful residents will be able to spend the issued funds at more than 15,000 merchant stores that accept the e-CNY as payment for goods and services rendered.

The initiative from the Shenzhen city government is not the first of its kind as the officials continue to explore avenues to support the local economy amidst the growing incidence of lockdowns stirred by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The airdrop is also evidence that the CBDC from the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is a very functional one and very close to a broad national launch. Despite the official launch date of the e-CNY not yet announced, a lot of accolades have been shared as the PBoC pushed for the new legal tender to feature at this year’s Olympic Games held in January. The CBDC also reportedly had transaction figures that surpassed records from international payment giants like Visa.

The report from Shanghai Securities News confirmed that previous airdrops like these are known to bolster consumer spending indeed, and expectations mount that this latest measure will also follow suit.

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China’s e-CNY is Growing, despite Local Payment Options Lack behind

The Digital Yuan (e-CNY), China’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is growing at a fast pace as data released by Zou Lan, director of the PBoC financial markets department revealed the new legal tender has inked a total of 87.57 billion yuan ($13.68 billion) in transactions since public trials began, according to CNBC.

The performance figures released by the PBoC also showed that the total number of citizens that are now using the digital yuan has topped 261 million per a CNBC report. This user count is arguably favoured by the hosting of a newly released Digital Yuan wallet by the Chinese Central Bank on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store respectively.

While the transactions figures come off as impressive, it is by no means close to those of Alipay, one of the two dominant payment service providers operating in China. While the total transaction value of the e-CNY is pegged at 87.57 billion yuan, Alipay reported an average of 10 trillion yuan per month for the 2020 financial year.

Additionally, the monthly active users of Alipay pegged at 711 million people dwarfs the 261 million reported by the PBoC, and registered businesses on Alipay are over 80 million while businesses with a digital yuan wallet are just shy of 10 million.

While the fraction of the government’s new money made should be acknowledged, it is still a mile away from matching with local payment service providers. While competition from private cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as well as stablecoins are already waded off when the country banned cryptocurrencies last year, the PBoC needs a more dogged strategy to onboard more users to use the e-CNY.

China has come a long way in perfecting the technical details surrounding its Digital Yuan currency, and with plans to permit foreign athletes to use the new money at the forthcoming Beijing Olympics, the PBoC wants to ensure all loose ends are tied with respect to its retail testing campaign.

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China’s e-CNY is Growing, is Miles Behind Local Payment Options

The Digital Yuan (e-CNY), China’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is growing at a fast pace as data released by Zou Lan, director of the PBoC financial markets department revealed the new legal tender has inked a total of 87.57 billion yuan ($13.68 billion) in transactions since public trials began, according to CNBC.

The performance figures released by the PBoC also showed that the total number of citizens that are now using the digital yuan has topped 261 million per a CNBC report. This user count is arguably favoured by the hosting of a newly released Digital Yuan wallet by the Chinese Central Bank on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store respectively.

While the transactions figures come off as impressive, it is by no means close to those of Alipay, one of the two dominant payment service providers operating in China. While the total transaction value of the e-CNY is pegged at 87.57 billion yuan, Alipay reported an average of 10 trillion yuan per month for the 2020 financial year.

Additionally, the monthly active users of Alipay pegged at 711 million people dwarfs the 261 million reported by the PBoC, and registered businesses on Alipay are over 80 million while businesses with a digital yuan wallet are just shy of 10 million.

While the fraction of the government’s new money made should be acknowledged, it is still a mile away from matching with local payment service providers. While competition from private cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as well as stablecoins are already waded off when the country banned cryptocurrencies last year, the PBoC needs a more dogged strategy to onboard more users to use the e-CNY.

China has come a long way in perfecting the technical details surrounding its Digital Yuan currency, and with plans to permit foreign athletes to use the new money at the forthcoming Beijing Olympics, the PBoC wants to ensure all loose ends are tied with respect to its retail testing campaign.

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PBoC governor says digital yuan to be more privacy-enhanced than payment apps

During a virtual video session at the Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies’ 30th Anniversary Conference, People’s Bank of China governor Gang Yi discussed recent developments regarding the country’s central bank digital currency, or CBDC, known as the digital yuan (e-CNY). Gang specifically addressed the issue of privacy surrounding the Digital Yuan in the following statement, as translated by Cointelegraph:

We are taking a high degree of focus on issues surrounding the security of personal information and the digital yuan and have made relevant regulatory and technological adjustments to meet this objective. We have adopted a principle of anonymity for small transactions regarding the digital yuan and will only step in to regulate under the law for large transactions. When it comes to collecting personal data, we seek only to collect what is necessary and the minimum of what is legally required, which is far less than electronic payment apps of today.

Gang spoke on the storage and utilization of personal information belonging to users of the technology adding:

At the same time, we seek to control the storage and use of personal information strictly. Unless the law demands it, the PBoC will not hand over such information [on e-CNY users] to any third-party or government agency. In recent years, China has passed multiple laws to facilitate the safety and protection of personal data from a regulatory standpoint.

In recent months, the number of people with e-CNY accounts has ballooned to over 140 million. At the same time, its transaction volume surpassed 62 billion yuan ($9.7 billion) in October. When discussing the next steps forward for the CBDC, Gang explained that while the e-CNY remains confined mainly to consumer spending in China’s retail sector, there are plans for cross-border expansion:

The PBoC wishes to cooperate with central banks, international agencies, and cryptocurrency entities across the globe. We have already launched an mCBDC Bridge with the Bank for International Settlements, The Bank of Thailand, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. We have also begun technical discussions with the European Central Bank regarding the design of CBDCs.