Transactions Worth $10 Billion and 140 Million People Have China’s Digital Yuan Wallets

According to a representative of the People’s Bank of China, China’s central bank digital currency, the digital yuan (CBDC), has been used in transactions totaling nearly $10 billion. Moreover, around 140 million people have downloaded the government digital wallet.

Digital Yuan adoption rises; Nearly $10 billion transacted

Mu Changchun (director-general of China’s digital currency institute, the People’s Bank of China) shared information about the adoption of the digital yuan Wednesday at Hong Kong’s Fintech Week conference.

He said that around 140 million people have downloaded the wallet for China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), eCNY as of October. Reuters also reported that the digital yuan was used in transactions worth approximately 62 billion yuan ($9.7 trillion).

China has been testing its digital yuan actively, but the official at the PBOC said that the official launch date of the digital currency is not yet set.

Mu said that 1.55 million merchants have accepted payments via eCNY wallets so far, which includes utilities, catering, transportation and government services.

Globally, a growing number of central banks are looking into launching their own CBDCs. According to the Atlantic Council’s CBDC tracker 87 countries are currently exploring a CBDC. Seven have been launched, 17 are in piloting, 15 are under development and 39 are currently being investigated.

Benoit Coeure (head of the Bank of International Settlements Innovation Hub) urged central banks in September to take action on central bank digital currency now, to be competitive with initiatives in private sectors, including cryptocurrency.

The People;s Bank of China

Based on the consolidation of Huabei Bank, Beihai Bank, and Xibei Farmer Banks, the People’s Bank of China was created on December 1, 1948. The State Council made the PBC a central bank in September 1983. Since then, the PBC’s status as a central bank has been legally confirmed by the Law of the People’s Republic of China regarding the People’s Bank of China.

The PBC will play a greater role in China’s macroeconomic management as a central bank due to the improvements made to the socialist market economy. The 6th meeting of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People’s Congress adopted the amended Law of the People’s Republic of China regarding the People’s Bank of China. It states that the PBC has the following major functions.

(1) Drafting and enforcing applicable laws, rules, and regulations related to the performance of its functions.

(2) Creating and implementing monetary policies in compliance with law.

(3) Issuing and managing the Renminbi;

(4) Regulation of financial markets, including inter-bank lending, inter-bank bond, foreign exchange and gold markets;

(5) To prevent and mitigate systemic financial risk to ensure financial stability

(6) Maintaining the Renminbi’s exchange rate at an adaptive and equilibrium level; Managing the state foreign currency and gold reserves.

(7) Management of the State Treasury as fiscal agent

(8) Establishing payment and settlement rules with the relevant departments, and ensuring that payment and settlement systems operate as normal.

(9) Provide guidance for anti-money laundering in the financial sector, and monitor suspicious money movement.

(10) Responsible for developing a financial statistics system and for consolidating financial statistics, as well as for conducting economic analysis and forecast.

(11) Managing the credit reporting industry in China, and promoting credit information system building;

(12) Participating as a central bank representative in international financial transactions

(13) Engaging with financial business operations in accordance with applicable rules

(14) Other functions as prescribed by the State Council.