What is the digital RMB? It is simply a digital form of China’s physical currency. Powered by blockchain technology, it is distributed by China’s central bank to second-tier providers including state-owned banks and online payment providers, such as Alipay and WeChat Pay.
The Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DC/EP) is a digital version of the yuan – China’s national currency. The DC/EP is backed by yuan deposits held by China’s central bank and has been under development for slightly more than five years.
The digital yuan, which is controlled and issued by the People’s Bank of China, is what’s known as a central bank digital currency (CBDC). … Central bank digital currencies are unlike cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, or even the Facebook-backed digital coin Libra.
Today multiple news outlets reported that the state-owned Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) enabled ATMs to support China’s digital RMB trials, including for deposits and withdrawals. The functionality being trialed for the digital yuan or eCNY is gradually expanding, and various tests have included offline payments, wearable devices and card-based wallets. And outlets supporting the digital RMB have expanded beyond restaurants and stores to include mobile phone top-up and metro card payments.
In Shenzhen, China is currently conducting its third mass digital RMB giveaway of 200 yuan ($31) to 100,000 people. Shenzhen was also the location of the first giveaway to 50,000 people in October, with the second following in December in Suzhou for 100,000 citizens.
Beijing is the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics, which is a designated digital currency trial zone. It recently tested metro card payments and wearable devices and will allow tourists to take advantage of the digital currency in 2022.