Chinese Bank Rolls Out Digital Yuan to Cash Conversion Feature on Over 3,000 Beijing ATM Locations

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Chinese Bank Rolls Out Digital Yuan to Cash Conversion Feature on Over 3,000 Beijing ATM Locations
Photo: Unsplash

The state-owned ICBC has activated these Chinese yuan ATM locations to prepare for the yet-to-be-announced final rollout of the digital yuan.

A Chinese commercial bank has added a new digital yuan feature to more than 3,000 Beijing automated teller machines (ATM). The new feature now allows members of the Beijing public to convert the country’s digital yuan token into cash. Interested persons can also convert cash to the digital yuan.

A Xinhua Finance report made the news official on Friday. According to the report, the feature is the brainchild of China’s state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). The development suggests that the ICBC is forging ahead with plans for a digital yuan (e-CNY) public launch. The report also states that both the ICBC and the Beijing branch of the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) enabled this feature. However, the ABC only has 10 Chinese yuan ATM locations, in the Wangfujing shopping area. 

The new development might do a lot to drive general adoption when the e-CNY officially rolls out. The ease of conversion could make people more willing to try out the country’s digital currency. It is generally expected that there would be more official governmental development before the final rollout, including more features on the Chinese yuan ATMs.

Before the Chinese Yuan ATM Testing

Last year, China began its digital yuan testing through the ABC. The bank developed a mobile app that was first seen on the country’s most popular social media app, WeChat. The news gave a sneak peek into the usage of the e-CNY via images of an app interface. Earlier this month, Beijing also planned to give out 40 million yuan (about $6.3 million at the time) through a new test. The Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration Bureau’s plan is to give 200 digital yuan to each local resident, up to 200,000

The Chinese government does not have a favorable dispotion to cryptocurrency in general. Apart from its own currency, other digital assets are facing the risk of official relegation. For instance, the Xinjian province recently outlawed Bitcoin mining and ordered miners to cease operations. The Changji Prefecture Government also extended this order to its subordinate arms in the Zhundong Economic Technological development park. In a circular, the government told these arms to stop mining and also suspend all crypto-related efforts. Because the park is a major point in the country’s crypto sector, the government essentially dealt the sector a hard blow.

In some way, the recent crackdown could be a method of paving way for the incoming e-CNY. The government’s recent round of crackdowns was also active in March when Northern China’s Inner Mongolia region announced it would begin denying approvals for new crypto mining farms. In addition to the licensure suspension. Inner Mongolia also revealed that it would begin shutting down existing farms. Although the March announcement cited energy reasons, all the moves point to a complete dismissal of crypto endeavors not owned by the state.

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