China’s digital yuan wallet launches on app stores for 11 select cities

China’s digital yuan wallet launches on app stores for 11 select cities

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is scaling its trial of the digital yuan as the official national rollout draws ever closer. It has now made the digital yuan wallet available on iOS and Android app stores, but only for 11 select cities. Those that are in Beijing for the Winter Olympics will also be able to access the wallet.

The wallet has been available for select users for some months now, but users had to be invited by the central bank before they can download the wallet. Now that the app has been made available to anyone within the select 11 cities, several residents are taking to social media to reveal they had been able to download the wallet.

The cities include Shanghai, Suzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Xiong’an, Changsha, Hainan, Xi’an, Dalian, and Qingdao. It’s also available in the areas where the Beijing Winter Olympics will take place, which cover the capital of Beijing and the neighboring city of Zhangjiakou.

On the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, the application is listed as a PBoC’s Digital Currency Institute product. An offshoot of the central bank behind the development of the digital currency, otherwise known as the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP).

By including the Beijing Winter Olympics area among the areas that will have access to the digital yuan wallet, the PBoC will be exposing its central bank digital currency to the ultimate mainstream test. The Chinese government has already spent over $4 billion to prepare for the event. Although some countries like the U.K. and the U.S. have declared a diplomatic boycott of the event, China still sees millions of people who will attend the event. This mass of people will be the perfect test for the durability, efficiency, and speed of the digital yuan payments system.

Previously, it had been suggested that China was accelerating its digital yuan development to ensure that it launches by the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics. However, with the Olympics set to kick off on February 4, the digital yuan is unlikely to be ready for a full launch.

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.

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