Alipay to enable test of digital yuan

Chinese payments giant Alipay is set to allow some of its users to use the country’s digital yuan, after announcing a hookup between its app and digital yuan wallets.

The mobile payment platform, which is owned by Ant Group, said the trial would enable some users to access digital yuan through its service, expected to form a key part of the emerging ecosystem around the digital currency.

The move was made possible by the involvement of MYbank, one of the leading internet-only banks in China, which is also majority owned by Ant Group.

In a statement quoted by CNBC on its involvement in the next phase of the digital yuan trials, Ant Group said it would continue to work alongside industry and state powers to aid the development of the digital currency.

“As one of the participants in the trial of the e-CNY, Ant Group’s associate MYbank will steadily advance the trial pursuant to the overall arrangement of the People’s Bank of China. Ant Group, together with MYbank, will also continue to support the research, development and trial of PBOC’s e-CNY.”

Ant Group has been working closely with the country’s central bank for several years in developing the digital currency and its infrastructure. The firm’s mobile app development rails have already supported the creation of a number of different digital yuan apps, with Mybank heavily involved in supporting the roll-out of the currency.

Rivals WeBank are also engaged in shaping the digital currency ecosystem in China, though the firm has yet to offer its version of a fiat bridge to the digital yuan.

The People’s Bank of China has continued to work on trials for the digital yuan, including airdrop programs, and localized city trial schemes targeting retail, shopping festivals and other everyday scenarios for accepting digital payments.

To learn more about central bank digital currencies and some of the design decisions that need to be considered when creating and launching it, read nChain’s CBDC playbook.

See also: CoinGeek Live panel, The Future of Banking, Financial Products & Blockchain

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