Recently, a Chinese-based news outlet announced that McDonald’s and Starbucks are among a group of companies that will sign up to take part in a trial of China’s digital Yuan, part of a pilot scheme ahead of a wider roll-out of the digital currency.
The pair joins 19 retail shops and restaurants in signing up for the trial, which will take place in Xiong’An, China. Famous startups Subway and JD Supermarkets will also participate in the trial. There were no details specified as to the length of the pilot or possible start date, though proceedings are expected to be underway in the coming weeks.
The report further revealed that one of the cities that will be hosting the digital Yuan pilot tests, Xiong’an New District, held a pilot promotion meeting on Wednesday (April 22, 2020).
The meeting was attended by representatives from the banks, who are in the process of developing wallet applications for the digital currency, as well as participants in the pilot scheme.
Digital Yuan On the Brink of Mainstream Use
In the works for months, it seems that the famed digital Yuan is finally ready to walk the walk, with the digital currency expected to launch later this year or in early 2021.
Notably, China’s central bank was among the first central banks to begin research and development of a homegrown digital currency. The country has continued with the developments despite the novel coronavirus threatening to thwart their plans.
Just last week, it was revealed that one of China’s state-owned banks, the Agricultural Bank of China, has already developed a mobile application for testing the country’s central bank digital currency (also known as the DC/EP).
This just goes to show that China has accelerated the development and deployment of its digital currency in recent months. The country hopes to ultimately become the first major nation to roll out a central bank-backed digital currency successfully.
CBDC’s Could Herald End Of Financial Privacy
CBDC’s are placed interestingly in the global financial spectrum in that while they offer the benefits of digital money fully backed by a state’s central bank, they also could prove to be a disaster for financial privacy and independence.
As more countries such as Japan and the Netherlands consider following in China’s footsteps to develop a homegrown CBDC, many worry about the very nature of these newly formed digital currencies. People are afraid that the dawn of state-backed cryptos could make it easy for governments to keep track of people’s spending, which would spell doom for individuals who value their privacy over spending convenience.