China’s digital yuan is all set to become the first country to launch a fully functional CBDC in the form of digital yuan. The pilot programs have been going on for quite some time now and are moving towards extensive use cases.
The People’s Bank of China this last August had announced its plan to test the national digital currency in Beijing. However, a recent conference organized by two municipal bodies, namely Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration and the Tongzhou District government, suggests the pilot would also include local state bodies to participate.
The legal documents related to the pilot suggest that the central bank is planning to create an economic “pilot free trade zone” in Beijing and other cities. The first pilot for digital yuan was done in the form of traveling allowances for government employees in digital yuan, which was later expanded to include several more cities than the first 3 and include restaurants and fast-food chains. Most recently, the central bank held an airdrop of $1.5 million worth of the digital yuan.
As the pilot moves to the capital, the central bank would expand cities and consumers’ scope before the final launch. Many also believe that Beijing’s move is as per the rollout strategy outlined by the Commerce Minister. The digital yuan pilot would likely move north of the country soon. The next pilot can include coastal city Tianjin and Hebei Province and the city cluster in the Yangtze River Delta region, including Shanghai.