With Beijing being the next city joining the digital yuan test, China has now issued a total of 110 million (worth $17 million) of its central bank digital currency, also known as DC/EP.
The Chinese capital city of Beijing announced on Sunday that it is distributing 10 million digital yuan – worth about $1.5 million – to 50,000 local residents via a lottery as part of a wider test that will eventually see digital yuan being used in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Similar to previous tests, lottery-winners in the Beijing trial will be able to spend the free digital yuan in offline and online merchants that support the DC/EP payment method.
Beijing is the third Chinese city that has kicked off the real-world digital yuan test after Shenzhen and Suzhou.
Shenzhen has conducted three tests so far with a combined issuance of 50 million ($7.7 million) digital yuan. Suzhou, on the other hand, conducted its first run in December with 20 million ($3 million) digital yuan and now is having its second test with 30 million digital yuan, worth $5 million, which is purposed to boost domestic consumption during the upcoming Lunar New Year.
When an internal DC/EP wallet test developed by the Agriculture Bank of China was leaked in last April, the wallet app indicated the internal test was set to start initially in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and the Xiong’An New District.
The Xiong’An government announced on Sunday that the local branch of the Agriculture Bank of China has completed the research and production of DC/EP hardware wallets, which marks a major step in preparation for a wider rollout of China’s central bank digital currency.
The city of Chengdu was previously said to also start a city-wide test digital yuan test in February but it appears the schedule has been pushed back to March, according to a report from Chinese media The Paper on Monday.