Zou Lan, head of financial markets at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), provided an update on the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital yuan, at a press conference Tuesday.
According to the PBOC official, e-CNY had 261 million unique users at the end of 2021, and transactions worth 87.5 billion yuan ($13.78 billion) have been made using the Chinese central bank digital currency. In addition, more than 8 million merchants now accept the digital yuan.
China’s central bank has been actively testing its digital currency, also known as Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP), in various cities over the past two years. The central bank has been giving digital yuan away through lotteries for residents to spend.
The digital yuan wallet app has become one of China’s fastest-growing apps by the number of downloads.
The app became available in the iOS and Android app stores earlier this month. However, only users in pilot cities and at the upcoming Winter Olympics venues can sign up and spend the digital yuan at one of the 8 million stores that accept e-CNY.
The trial regions for the digital yuan include Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiongan, Chengdu, Shanghai, Hainan, Changsha, Xian, Qingdao, Dalian, and venues of this year’s Winter Olympics, hosted by Beijing.