On October 13, 50,000 people in Shenzhen received ‘red packets’ after their successful application to take part in a local trial of the People Bank of China’s Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) system.
More than two million residents in Shenzhen City had signed to take part in the week-long trial but only 50,000 digital ‘red packets’ were up for grabs. The successful applicants received 200 Yuan in its digital form, which is the equivalent of $40.
A total of 10 million Yuan was handed out to the 50,000 successful applicants that could then be used to purchase various items at 3,389 selected stores in Luohu district.
95 percent of applicants used their Digital Yuan
Following the week-long trial which allowed successful users to spend their Digital Yuan at various stores across the Luohu district, the PBOC released a report on the usage of the trial.
According to the release, 47,573 winning individuals officially received their ‘red packet’ and 62,788 transactions were made using the digital Renminbi which equated to a transaction total of 8.7 mln Yuan, worth around $1.3mln.
Furthermore some of the users opted to recharge their digital wallets with more RMB, with the recharge total at 901,000 Yuan or $130,000. It’s reported that users that did not spend their ‘red packet’ allowance will see their wallet balance returned to the PBOC.
Constantly pushing ahead
This is the latest move made by the PBOC to test its very own central bank digital currency. The development of the DCEP and its testing has been ongoing for much of 2020.
The project was rolled out to major metropolitan areas to expedite trials in August 2020 by the Chinese Commerce Ministry which included Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Yangtze River Delta, Guangdong as well as Hong Kong and Macau.
The Chinese Central Bank also intends for the DCEP to be fully functioning and operational for use by the time the 2022 Winter Olympics gets underway in Beijing.
Last week’s ‘lottery’ and week-long trial is the first instance that the wider public has been involved in the active testing of the DCEP pilot system.