As China attempts to recover from the COVID-19 outbreak, new details emerge about its central bank-issued digital token, including a connection to Starbucks and other western businesses. The token will now be tested in the Xiong’an New Area among other places.

Within the cryptocurrency industry, few upcoming projects are as anticipated as the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) from the Chinese Government. This is because the government has been rather closed off with regards to cryptocurrency, banning its use and cracking down on cryptocurrency mining activities.

The confirmation of the development of the token signaled a turning point in the treatment of cryptocurrencies within the country and also has far-reaching implications for digital currency use on the world stage as it’s likely that other countries will follow in China’s steps.

China Partnering with the West for Launching CBDC?

For a significant amount of time, very little information was released about the token as the Chinese Government has kept mostly quiet on the subject.

However, ChainNews, a Chinese media outlet, recently released some alleged information about the token. The information in question regards a pilot promotion meeting that was held in the Xiong’an New Area where the token will be tested. The meeting was reportedly organized by the Reform and Development Bureau of the Xiong’an New District Management Committee.

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In attendance at the meeting were various institutions involved in the research and development of the digital renminbi (DCEP) including the Shijiazhuang Center Sub-branch of the People’s Bank of China. The primary topic of discussion was the pilot testing of the token moving forward. In the past, the token had been used in Suzhou for travel subsidies, but its use is now being geared towards the retail sector in the region.

Some of the 19 institutions on the list to be used for testing the token include Zhonghai SPV, Jinfeng Catering, Jiankun Catering, Kaili Hotel, Oscar Studios, McDonald ’s, Starbucks, Subway, Golden Baihe, and Cainiao Inn.

Digital Currencies on a National Scale

This development project will see a great deal of input from the National Development and Reform Commission, which has previously held a conference on the benefits of digital currency. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the commission has more to work with for their research as the token is being considered a form of economic stimulus.

A working branch of the Chinese central bank will also be developed in the test city, in line with plans to create a digital city in Xiong’an New District. The token itself is seeing rapid progress in its development, with the Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China reportedly working on a wallet for the token in the Chinese cities of Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an New Area, and Chengdu.

Come the 2022 Winter Olympics, the token will be widely used, says a Bank of China official. While it seems that China will be welcoming people from all over the world with its CBDC, some still do not trust the country’s intentions.

It has been alleged that these developments were in response to the overall rise of cryptocurrency and that the blanket ban was to clear the pathway for further state surveillance within China through its CBDC.