China’s latest CBDC airdrop

China’s latest CBDC airdrop

The Chinese city of Suzhou has announced that it will be doing a 30 million yuan ($5 million) digital airdrop. “Following the successful distribution of 20 million digital yuan in Suzhou last December, Suzhou will be issuing 30 million digital RMB (Renminbi ),” says the official announcement.

Suzhou citizens have from midnight on February 5th to midnight on February 6th to enter their name into a lottery that will award them with 200 yuan ($31) worth of the digital Renminbi (if they win); in total, the city of Suzhou plans to select 150,000 lottery winners for this airdrop.

If an individual wins, they have from February 10th until February 26th to spend their digital RMB and can spend it at any of the merchants that accept China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) either online or at their brick and mortar shops.

Interestingly, the announcement steers clear of calling the digital currency “the DC/EP,” the name that China’s central bank digital currency is officially known as. Instead, it simply refers to the currency as ‘digital renminbi’.

This isn’t China’s first CBDC trial

China has held one other lottery-style airdrop to pilot its central bank digital currency. Last December, Suzhou held a successful digital RMB airdrop in which 20 million yuan ($3 million) was distributed to 100,000 citizens. It is also rumored that there will be other airdrops in the future and that Chengdu will be the next location to host a lottery-style airdrop in which $8 million digital RMB will be distributed. 

In October 2020, The People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) deputy governor Fan YiFei gave an update on China’s CBDC, saying that it had been used in over 3.13 million transactions with a valuation of roughly 1.1 billion yuan ($162 million). Fan YiFei also said that 113,300 million consumer wallets, as well as 8,800 corporate wallets, have been created and that the PBOC has discovered 6,700 different use cases for the DC/EP.

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