China’s central bank digital currency trials are set to continue, this time in the capital Beijing where the government is giving away 40 million yuan ($6.2 million) to the public. The country plans on launching the digital yuan in time for the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022.
In its announcement, the Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration Bureau revealed it would give away 200 red envelopes to local residents, with each containing 200 digital yuan (around $31). To participate in the giveaway, the residents must apply before June 7 through the banking apps of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Bank of China.
This is the second time Beijing residents will interact with the digital yuan. As CoinGeek reported earlier this year, the capital kicked off its CBDC test later than its peers including Shenzhen and Suzhou. At the time, it was the biggest digital yuan test with the PBoC partnering with local establishments for payments in the digital currency. It was the first time that the central bank had chosen to work directly with small mom-and-pop shops instead of the tech and retail giants.
In yet another move to spur the adoption of the digital yuan, a central bank official has proposed a regulatory sandbox for testing of cross-border financial transactions with the CBDC. Xing Yujing, the president of the Shenzhen branch of the PBoC believes the sandbox would further accelerate capital account convertibility between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.