During a webinar hosted by the Atlantic Council on Tuesday, a top official from China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), shared an update on the current experiment with the Chinese central bank digital currency (CBDC). Currently, the digital yuan, or e-CNY, is being tested at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
According to Mu Changchun, director-general of the PBOC’s Digital Currency Research Institute, the Chinese CBDC is being used to make 2 million yuan ($315,000) or more in payments each day at the Olympics. All overseas users appear to be utilising hardware wallets. Domestic consumers are the primary users of software wallets.
The Bank of China, a state-controlled commercial bank, had installed a number of digital yuan ATMs at certain important sites during the Games. Foreign currency banknotes can be converted into digital yuan or regular yuan banknotes via the machines.
In January, the PBOC made its digital yuan app available in trial mode on the Android and iOS app stores. The Chinese central bank has stated that by the end of 2021, e-CNY had 261 million unique users and transactions totaling 87.5 billion yuan ($13.78 billion) had been completed using the Chinese central bank’s digital currency. Furthermore, almost 8 million shops currently accept the digital yuan.