The race for launching the Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) is at its peak with many nations already starting the project pilot. Most jurisdictions don’t favour decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and have been trying to curb its use. Ever since China made the headlines with its state-backed cryptocurrency, others have followed.
China is the closest to launching its Digital Yuan and the nation has been a stern believer of the ‘blockchain not bitcoin’ notion. Over the last couple of years, China has already set itself ahead of the competition regarding cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
Hong Qi, chairman of Minsheng Bank, had previously noted that blockchain technology would be a boost for China’s economy. He said:
“The full adoption of digital technologies such as blockchain is expected to accelerate the digital transformation and upgrade its agriculture, manufacturing, finance and other services in the next 10 years.”
Trial phase begins
However, China has been quite secretive about its CBDC project and details have remained scarce. Only bits and pieces of information have emerged every now and then. Similarly, on April 14, executive director of M&A, Global Fiat, at cryptocurrency exchange Binance, shared some screenshots of a purported pilot version of a wallet app for China’s digital Yuan on twitter.
As per the tweet, the app is supposedly available for download for the initial trial in four cities namely Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Xiongan. Zhang noted that Xiongan, a new metropolis located outside Beijing, has also been selected for the “smart city brain project.”
Xiongan is set to have enhanced intelligent infrastructure that spans satellite information services, a 5G network, supercomputing, sensor recognition and big data facilities. The new area is already a thriving industrial hub with many of the nation’s tech giants like Tencent, Alibaba, JD.com and Baidu setting up shop.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao commented on the images noting the “execution speed” of the nation in rolling out its CBDC trial phase.
The news comes weeks after the Global Times on March 24 reported that People’s Bank of China (PBC) had already completed the basic development of the CBDC and had moved on to drafting laws that the new system would abide by.
As reported earlier by The Daily Chain, the PBoC is set to give out its first round of central bank digital currency to online retail giant Alibaba, Internet giant Tencent, five banking organizations and one other unknown entity.
Besides China, the Bank of France is looking for applicants to test the use of a digital euro in efforts to explore the various possibilities involved with CBDCs. The bank is set to experiment on three main objectives such as demonstrating how CBDCs could replace the traditional interbank settlement and identifying the various benefits and risks of implementing a CDBC based system.