China expands CBC trials to more populous province: Report

The People’s Bank of China, or PBOC, will reportedly expand its deployment of the central bank’s digital currency, e-CNI, to four provinces in the country, including Guangdong.

According to a report from the South China Morning Post on Tuesday, PBOC Vice Governor Fan Yifei said at an event in Suzhou that the bank will transfer e-CNI trials to Guangdong, Jiangsu, Hebei and Sichuan provinces. With a total population of more than 360 million people, the reported move is a significant expansion of the central bank’s CBCC plans, which have been largely limited to individual cities, towns and selected regions.

With the first CBC test launched in April 2020, China’s central bank is considering eventually replacing cash with the digital yuan. As of January 2022, a reported 261 million users have set up digital wallets for e-CNI worth more than $13 billion in transactions. The country issued a digital currency for foreign athletes during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and began allowing e-CNI payments for certain public buses in August.

So far, neither PBOC nor Chinese government officials have announced plans to make CBCC available across the country. Fan said the expansion of the four states would be “at the right time.”

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The Bahamas became the first country to launch CBDC – sand dollars – nationwide in October 2020. Both Nigeria and China have issued their own digital currencies on a trial basis, while the world’s largest economic power, the United States, has not. He has announced plans to launch a digital dollar. As part of US President Joe Biden’s executive order on digital assets since March, government agencies and departments have begun exploring CBDC designs as well as potential benefits and risks.