On February 4, 2022, China will be hosting the Beijing Winter Olympics, where they intend to unveil a creation of international interest, the digital yuan (e-CNY).
Four state-owned banks—the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the Bank of Communications, Postal Savings Bank, and the Agricultural Bank of China—recently issued a new batch of digital yuan (e-CNY) coupons in Beijing, according to reports. The ICBC rollout involves issuing coupons for subways which will cost passengers up to 60 yuan (U.S. $9.42). Users can buy the tickets weekly or monthly.
Meanwhile, the Postal Savings Bank plans to give vouchers for domestic express delivery service EMS up to 10 yuan (U.S. $1.57), with three coupons per customer, and the Agricultural Bank said it will give bookstore coupons for 99 yuan (U.S. $15.54).
This development intends to promote the adoption rate of the digital yuan in anticipation of the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics. The new set of digital yuan coupons will be used to test-run the digital asset use cases for “small-amount” and “high-frequency” payment type.
In addition, the Beijing financial authorities revealed that the coupons can be used for delivery express services, supermarkets, laundries, bookstores, and public transportation.
Digital yuan pilot runs continue across China
Since 2014, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has been working on the digital yuan, which aims to replace some cash in circulation.
The e-CNY is a legal tender and it’s accepted by all entities in China. Similar to the fiat Chinese yuan, its issuance is facilitated by the PBoC. The worth of one e-CNY equals one fiat yuan, and each is exchangeable with the other. Users can also hold e-CNY in a mobile phone “e-wallet” app.
Recently, the Chinese government urged American companies, including McDonald’s, to accept digital yuan before the 2022 Olympics. According to the Financial Times, the fastfood giant has been forced to expand the digital yuan trial to more of its restaurants in the nation in anticipation of the Winter 2022 Beijing Olympics.
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