China’s central bank governor said that 950 million transactions made from around 120 million wallets since the e-CNY was first introduced in January 2022.
People’s Bank of China governor Yi Gang recently confirmed that the transaction volume for China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) aka Digital Yuan has reached a staggering $250 billion in just one-and-a-half years since starting the pilot tests.
Governor Yi Gant’s comments came on Wednesday, July 19, while speaking at a conference in Singapore. He also added that the country’s central bank digital currency aka Digital Yuan transacted a total of 1.8 trillion yuan as of the end of June.
Yi stated that there have been approximately 950 million transactions made from around 120 million wallets since the e-CNY was first introduced in January 2022. This has resulted in an average transaction amount of about $260.
MAS is honoured to have Dr Yi Gang, President of China Society for Finance and Banking as the speaker for the MAS Lecture 2023. Dr Yi spoke on “CBDC from China’s perspective”.
— MAS (@MAS_sg) July 19, 2023
The central bank governor also claimed that by the end of June, around $2.3 billion, or 16.5 billion e-CNY was in circulation. This represents only 0.16% of China’s monetary supply.
Digital Yuan Sees Slow Adoption
China’s central bank along with government support has been working hard to push the use of Digital Yuan in the country’s economy. However, the adoption of the CBDC has been relatively slower considering China’s 1.4 billion strong population.
Aside from the few trials conducted in Hong Kong, the use of e-CNY has been largely for domestic retail payments happening in China. As reported by the South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Tuesday, July 18, the Bank of China Hong Kong (BOCHK) began the trial for a cross-border payment scheme for Bank of China customers at a few select retail stores in Hong Kong.
BOCHK is enabling mainland customers to use China’s digital currency, e-CNY, for shopping at over 200 retail stores in Hong Kong. The new initiative called the “cross-border shopping festival”, allows BOCHK clients to make payments with e-CNY at various retailers, including U Select, CDF Beauty, and Lung Fung Dispensary. This move follows two previous smaller trials and aims to enhance the cross-border usage of e-CNY, as stated in BOCHK’s announcement on Tuesday, marking the beginning of the festival.
Also, earlier this month, the Bank of China launched trials for offline payments of Digital Yuan. As per the announcement, the first phase of the trials will be limited to certain Android phones and specific regions, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, and Suzhou.
During the trial, users will have the ability to make digital yuan payments even without having a bank account or internet connection. To enable this, the trial will utilize “super SIM cards” with near-field communication capabilities in conjunction with the digital yuan app.