More Chinese banks add support for digital yuan amid wider rollout
35 Chinese commercial banks now allow customers to access the country’s new central bank digital currency (CBDC), suggesting yet another step toward a wider rollout, news agency Cnstock reported on Friday.
In addition to the six state-owned banks, the financial institutions that support withdrawals and deposits in the digital yuan include prominent names such as CITIC, China Everbright, China Merchants Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Minsheng, Ping An, Guangfa and Zheshang, amongst others.
Thousands of Chinese citizens have been chosen by a lottery system, allowing them to spend their national cryptocurrency – otherwise known as Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) – in both offline and online stores using a dedicated app.
“It can be found through the digital RMB App recharge that many banks have been added to the interface recently. Previously, only the six state-owned banks were supported,” said a Shanghai resident who participated in the pilot.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) was the country’s first bank to add full support for the digital renminbi. The state-owned lender has enabled a feature that allows clients to convert their digital yuan to cash at more than 3,000 ATMs across Beijing.
The new pilot comes barely a week after the official launch of the “one point access,” a two-tiered clearing system floated by two major Chinese banks this month. These are the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), which currently allow users to activate their digital yuan wallets in Shanghai and Beijing.
A person familiar with the matter said that as long as the relevant conditions are met, more commercial banks will participate in the digital RMB test. He added:
“Currently, commercial banks other than operating institutions can access the digital renminbi system in two modes. One is through operating institutions, currently the six state-owned banks; the other is through the city bank clearing and agricultural bank clearing to access the digital renminbi system. RMB interconnection platform. In addition, it can also be directly accessed in the early stage.”
China continues to quietly test a pilot version of its national digital currency as well as setting up a legal framework for CBDCs with global financial regulators.
The digital yuan, which is controlled and issued by the China government, is a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Yet, the People’s Bank of China officially has not assigned a monetary value right now because the digital yuan has not been launched to the public yet.
Beijing’s central bank has reportedly further engaged an ongoing initiative based in Hong Kong to study the application of a central bank’s cryptocurrency for cross-border payments.
The Asian giant completed a few trials of the coin and is currently rolling it out on major e-commerce platforms within the country. The digital version of the yuan has been under development for slightly more than six years, but the authorities are still far from a nationwide rollout and have instead focused on pilot projects.