Per several reports from Reuters and other news media, China released a pilot version of its e-CNY or digital yuan wallet for iOS and Android. The Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) has been under development since 2014 and seems poised to be roll-out in 2022.
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The Digital Yuan’s wallet can be downloaded via Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. According to Reuters, the wallet lets the users know that the CBDC is currently in development and can only be accessed for specific people and institutions working with the People’s Bank Of China (PBOC).
Other sources confirmed that the Digital Yuan app will let individuals manage their funds in the CBDC, exchange it and have access to other services. Upon until now, China was airdropping the digital currency to its citizens.
As reported by Bitcoinist, this country’s central bank gave over $6.2 million in Digital Yuan via a lottery contest to people living in Beijing and conducted similar initiatives in other parts of China. In order to participate, citizens needed to download a banking app only accessible via invitation from the financial institutions affiliated with the project.
Now, the Digital Yuan’s wallet can be downloaded by anyone living in the following Chinese provinces: Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiongan, Chengdu, Shanghai, Hainan, Changsha, Xian, Qingdao, and Dalian, according to a report by news media South China Morning Post.
The report added that the launch of this new wallet for the Digital Yuan took place as citizens prepared for the Lunar New Year. During this period, people usually send money to friends and family using something called “digital red packets”.
The Digital Yuan Another Cause For Tension With The United States?
The Digital Yuan is one of the first Central Bank Digital Currencies under development and its progress triggered the alarms of other Asian countries, and Europe. These regions are now trying to catch up with China and deploy their own CBDCs.
The Chinese digital currency is yet to have a fixed full public rollout date, but it could play a major role in the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. As a result, the event has created tension between the Asian Giant and its Western counterparts.
The United States and some of its government officials have been particularly against participating in this Olympic. As reported by Bitcoinist, a group of U.S. Senators sent a letter to this country’s Olympic and Paralympic Committee to request that their athletes be forbidden from using the Digital Yuan.
The document was redated by Senators Cynthia Lummis, a known Bitcoin advocate, Roger Wicker, and Marsha Blackburn. The government officials claimed that the CBDC is “totally” under the control of China’s central bank and could be used as a surveillance tool for the athletes.
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Whether the U.S. will take part in the event and let its athletes test the digital currency remains to be seen. As of press time, the total crypto market cap stands at $2,25 trillion with sideways movement in the past weeks.