The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has extended its pilot tests for the country’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) or digital Yuan to launch a new mobile wallet.
As reported by Reuters Tuesday, the new wallet is available to a select few as it is still in the experimental or research and development phase.
The new mobile wallet is notably available on the Google Play Store and the Chinese-supported App Store for iOS users.
The People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) digital currency research institute developed the pilot mobile wallet and will be operable in the Shanghai region. The mobile test wallet is a step forward in China’s pursuit of a CBDC that will complement the Yuan fiat currency.
Previously, Chinese regulators reportedly will conduct a trial test of digital Yuan. Macau could be one of the options for testing digital Yuan, as the city enjoys the advantage of the casino industry, although the COVID-19 pandemic is still continuing to crush its sector.
The Governor of the People’s Bank of China, Yi Gang, revealed back in November that the apex bank will not slow down its pace of development for the Digital Yuan project. He noted that the focus of the CBDC is to improve the design and usage of the new form of money while also bolstering its operational integration with existing payment systems.
China’s efforts with respect to developing a CBDC have been well commended in the past years. The PBoC launched trials for the Digital Yuan back in 2020 and has conducted a number of transactions to showcase the efficacy of the CBDC in retail transactions. As of November 2020, Governor Yi confirmed that the PBoC had recorded more than $300 million in Digital Yuan transactions.
At present, the Chinese government has succeeded in taming all forms of competition that may arise from privately issued digital currencies as it successfully banned crypto last year. The only competitors that are visible for the PBoC to compete with are the established payment service providers, including WeChat and Alipay, both of which currently dominate the digital payments ecosystem in the country.
China appears not to be in so much hurry concerning the Digital Yuan pursuit and has not mentioned a date when the new form of money will be rolled out.
Image source: Shutterstock