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, RT News reports.
The digital yuan, which is controlled and issued by the China government, is a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The People’s Bank of China officially calls the project ‘Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP)’, though it has not assigned a monetary value right now because the CBDC has not been launched to the public yet.
Beijing’s central bank has reportedly further engaged an ongoing initiative based in Hong Kong. Called ‘Project Inthanon-LionRock,’ the project builds on the work between the Bank of Thailand and Hong Kong Monetary Authority to study the application of central bank digital currency for cross-border payments.
This is not the first time that China is testing its proposed cryptocurrency. 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 five years, but the authorities are still far from a nationwide rollout and have instead focused on pilot projects.
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JD.com, the country’s second-largest online retailer, has become the first online platform to accept the country’s digital currency. A total of 20 million yuan ( worth nearly $3 million) was up for grabs in a lottery organized by JD.com’s fintech arm.
Those who received the digital yuan were able spend it on JD.com’s online shopping platform as part of a real-world trial for the cryptocurrency.
However, the move was an acknowledgment of the fact that long-time attempts to stamp out the crypto frenzy by shutting down service providers at home have failed to completely kill the mania that had been sweeping China.
China’s raid on the digital asset class, which started in September 2017, failed to dampen local investors’ enthusiasm, as many have resorted to online payment accounts and P2P venues to get around the crackdown.