Central bank to continue rollout of digital yuan
Published: Oct 13, 2022 12:35 AM
Visitors use digital yuan for payment at the 5th Digital China Summit in Fujian, East China's Fuzhou Province on July 24, 2022. Photo: Yin Yeping/GT

Visitors use digital yuan for payment at the 5th Digital China Summit in Fuzhou, East China's Fujian Province on July 24, 2022. Photo: Yin Yeping/GT

China's central bank said on Wednesday that it will continue to promote the sustainable and healthy development of the digital yuan, and will coordinate personal privacy protection and security compliance.

Personal information will be fully protected, according to a release on the official WeChat account of the People's Bank of China (PBC), the country's central bank, on Wednesday.

For low value transactions made with digital yuan, personal information will be anonymous, while high value transactions will be traceable to coordinate safety and privacy protection, said the PBC.

After nearly a decade of development, China's current digital currency development has already reached the phase of pilot testing in public places, following theoretical research and closed-loop testing.

As of August 31, pilot areas in 15 provinces and municipalities have seen 360 million transactions using digital yuan worth 100.04 billion yuan ($13.95 billion), and more than 5.6 million stores have supported payment with the digital yuan, according to the PBC.

Up to now, the PBC has selected 10 designated institutions as digital yuan operators after comprehensive evaluation.

In the pilot operation, digital yuan related businesses have been running smoothly, and no major safety accidents have occurred, said the PBC.

While promoting the pilot R&D and application of the digital yuan, the central bank has strengthened the protection of personal information. In accordance with the Cyber Security Law, the Personal Information Protection Law, the Anti-Money Laundering Law and other laws and regulations, the digital yuan ensures the security of personal information through a series of institutional arrangements and technical means, while preventing crime risks.

Apart from safety, more efforts will be made to promote the digital yuan and achieve healthy development.

In terms of international cooperation, the Chinese central bank said that it will actively participate in the multiple central bank digital currency (m-CBDC) bridge project and explore the establishment of multilateral cooperation mechanisms and new cross-border payment infrastructure and arrangements.

As one of the latest examples, the m-CBDC has successfully completed its first real-trade pilot test based on four national or regional central bank digital currencies from August 15 to September 23.

WeBank began to support the launch of digital RMB accounts, payments and settlements through its digital RMB app, after one pilot version of the app went online on the Apple App Store in January this year. 

In April this year, after the list of the third round of RMB pilot cities was announced, WeChat provided support for all pilot areas across the country. Users only need to open their WeBank wallet in the digital RMB app to access one-click payment.

China, a pioneer of legal digital currency research, has carried out a series of studies since 2014. In 2016, the central bank established the Digital Currency Research Institute as a financial infrastructure unit to promote work on the digital yuan. In 2018, a framework for the research and development (R&D) of the digital yuan was formulated. And in 2021, a white paper on R&D of the digital yuan was released, the first disclosure of systematic top-level design ideas.

Global Times