About 261 million digital wallets for China’s digital RMB digital currency have been set up, according to state media reports. The asset is set to be used in the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Chinese local media outlets report that approximately a fifth of the country’s population, some 261 million people, have set up wallets for the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital renminbi (RMB). The information was revealed at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office on Jan 18.
The reports also mentioned that it has crossed transaction volumes of 87.5 billion, following several successful pilots in major cities. Among these cities are Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an, Chengdu, Shanghai, Hainan, Changsha, Xi’an, Qingdao, and Dalian. These pilots have been launched in preparation for the CBDC’s use in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The success of the pilots, gauged by the transaction volume and number of wallets, has led to the planning of more pilots and research. The plan is to further expand the use of digital renminbi use in retail transactions, living payments, and government services. It also wishes to draw more enterprises into the use of the asset.
China is rapidly developing and launching pilots for its CBDC and is ahead of many other countries. It is by no means the only country to have a CBDC — as others have already launched it — but it is certainly the largest economy so far.
Will other countries launch CBDC pilots in 2022?
China is well known for being a country that is focused on digitizing its economy and implementing new technologies. Other countries have realized that they must do the same and have accelerated their efforts. Alongside regulation, CBDCs remain a key point on the agenda of many regulators around the world.
Countries and regions that are working on or considering CBDCs include the U.S., the Euro, Japan, India, Sweden, France, and Nigeria, among many others. However, none of them have progressed as far as China.
But 2022 might see that all change, with new trials and pilots, launched to test the capabilities. Regulators note that there are benefits to a digital currency, but are focused on employing a system that works, as opposed to being the first to implement it.
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