Regions trial digital currency
On Oct 12, Miss Wang, who works in Shenzhen, received 200 yuan in a lucky draw. By downloading a certain app and finishing her registration, she can spend the money by using the app at over 3,000 selected stores in Luohu district.
From Oct 12 to 18, the Shenzhen government launched a large-scale test of digital currency. The aim is to further advance its usage. Miss Wang was among 50,000 residents randomly selected.
The pilot app is easy to operate. As shown in a video released by People's Daily on Sina Weibo, while running the app, users can swipe up to pay and swipe down to receive payment. The appearance of digital currency is similar to paper money: It has the national emblem and Chinese characters for the People's Bank of China (PBOC). One social media user wrote, "This is like a PDF of yuan".
In fact, digital currency is another type of cash, reported CGTN. It's digitally created and issued by the PBOC. Imagine yourself in a video game: Digital currency is just like the coins you earn and spend in the game. It has real monetary value.
Although digital currency can be used similarly to other e-payment services such as Alipay and WeChat Pay, there's a difference. When we use those e-payment tools, money is primarily taken from a bank account. When paying by digital currency, the money is directly placed into and spent from our e-bank. Also, with digital currency, transactions can be finished offline as long as the two devices are close to each other.
The PBOC regards digital currency as an important part of the economy's future financial infrastructure, according to Fan Yifei, vice-governor of the PBOC. It is expected to make people's lives more convenient and help protect the stability and safety of the financial system. It will speed up the growth of China's digital economy, according to Yi Gang, governor of the PBOC.
"I'll consider making this my first option over WeChat or Alipay because it's backed by the state," Wang Jinchao, 27, a lucky draw winner from Shenzhen, told Caixin Global.
The test in Luohu is the first time ordinary consumers have participated in a large-scale test of digital currency, which shows the digital currency has taken an important step forward, China Daily pointed out. But the test is mainly restricted to small payments now, so it does not mean the digital currency will be launched in the market soon.