China’s central bank deputy governor has said that its central bank digital currency (CBDC) trial now involves 10 million people. Its next major phase will include tests at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.
China has about 10 million people in its digital renminbi trial program, according to a high-level official from the central bank. The trial has already involved millions of participants in various regions of the country, but this marks one of the biggest milestones yet. It appears that the country’s CBDC project looks to be making good progress.
In a press briefing on July 8, Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China Fan Yifei said that anyone can participate by applying for whitelisting. He then said that there were 10 million such individuals. The number of transactions recorded using the digital renminbi points to a warm welcome from the public.
Offering praise for the currency and the pilot programs, Yifei said that the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 would be the next major trial. He also said that the bank has “the confidence to continue increasing the scope of the trials.”
Because of its early start and a heavy focus on digitization of the economy, China has managed to become what some see as the leader in the CBDC race. China is the first major economy to treat CBDCs as a potential solution, while many others are only now beginning to research and develop a digital currency. Among these newly arrived nations are Canada, France, New Zealand, Japan, and Sweden.
China not slowing down with CBDC
China has been making progress on its CBDC and its testing in quite a pacy manner, with successful trials in areas like Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu. Hong Kong’s finance minister has also stated that there are plans for digital currency in the region and that it would work particularly well with the tech-savvy youth.
As for the rest of the market, the news is not so positive. China has been cracking down on the mining industry, which some see as being a backward move. Perhaps more significantly, it has ordered banks to stop facilitating transactions related to cryptocurrencies.
There is no word on when the CBDC might launch, but it appears that most governments expect it to happen in the next few years. Other countries have time to catch up with this innovation, which seems to be serving China well so far.
The following year will be the most important year yet in terms of the use of the CBDC. By then, more banks should have integrated the asset into their system, making the outreach potential much larger.