The city of Suzhou in China will be distributing 20 million yuan (about $3 million) of DC/EP–the Chinese central bank digital currency–in an upcoming lottery event. The DC/EP will be given out to up to 100,000 Suzhou residents in the form of “red packets.” Each red packet will be worth 200 Yuan ($30) and can be spent at any merchant that accepts the DC/EP.
The timeline for the DC/EP airdrop is as follows: Suzhou residents can register for the lottery from December 5th to December 6th. From December 7th to December 10th, the city will be “completing data preparation” and drawing lots. On December 11th, the DC/EP red packets will be distributed to users; and from December 11 to December 27th, lottery winners can spend their DC/EP at any merchant that accepts the digital yuan. Beginning at midnight on December 28th, all of the unused red packets will be recycled, which means that they will get sent back to the distributor.
Suzhou residents can create a DC/EP wallet at one of six state-owned banks, the Agricultural Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China Construction Bank, Bank of China, Bank of Communications, and the Postal Savings Bank of China.
The Suzhou airdrop comes just two months after the city of Shenzhen gave out $1.5 million worth of DC/EP to 50,000 residents.
Will China be the first to launch a CBDC?
Although several countries around the world are researching, developing, and hoping to launch a central bank digital currency, China is the furthest along in terms of developing and launching its CBDC. Several cities in China are currently piloting the DC/EP and over 3,000 merchants are able to accept the DC/EP as a payment method; according to an official from the Peoples Bank of China, China is looking to have the DC/EP in use during the 2022 Beijing winter Olympics.
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