Chinese local media outlets report that approximately a fifth of the country’s population, some 261 million people, have set up wallets for the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital renminbi (RMB). The information was revealed at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office on Jan 18.
The reports also mentioned that it has crossed transaction volumes of 87.5 billion, following several successful pilots in major cities. Among these cities are Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an, Chengdu, Shanghai, Hainan, Changsha, Xi’an, Qingdao, and Dalian. These pilots have been launched in preparation for the CBDC’s use in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The success of the pilots, gauged by the transaction volume and number of wallets, has led to the planning of more pilots and research. The plan is to further expand the use of digital renminbi use in retail transactions, living payments, and government services. It also wishes to draw more enterprises into the use of the asset.
China is rapidly developing and launching pilots for its CBDC and is ahead of many other countries. It is by no means the only country to have a CBDC — as others have already launched it — but it is certainly the largest economy so far.