- Authorities in Shenzhen, southern China, have handed out $1.5 million of a new digital currency as part of a trial of a cashless society.
- Last Friday authorities gave 50,000 lottery winners the equivalent of $30 each to spend digitally by October 16, the state-run China Daily reported Monday.
- The digital currency is not like a cryptocurrency, and is issued and controlled by China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China.
- The PBoC said it plans to formally launch the digital payment system in late 2020, according to the BBC.
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A Chinese city has handed out 10 million yuan, or $1.5 million, in digital currency to trial what citizens would do in a cashless society.
On Friday, 50,000 people living in the Luhou district of Shenzhen were given digital “red envelopes,” each containing around 200 yuan ($30) worth of the digital currency, the state-run China Daily reported Monday.
The digital currency not a cryptocurrency, like bitcoin or ethereum, but a digitized version of the country’s renminbi currency that is run by China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China.
The country’s four largest state-owned banks are taking part in the Shenzhen trial, China Daily reported.
The trial requires people to download the government’s digital currency app and spend their money between October 12 and October 16 in 3,000 participating stores in the district, CNBC and China Daily reported. One of those participating stores is Walmart, CNBC reported, citing the Shenzhen government.
So far, around 113,300 such digital currency apps — or “digital currency wallets” — have been set up in various pilot programs across China,
- Last week, the government in Shenzhen carried out a lottery to give away a total of 10 million yuan (about $1.5 million) worth of the digital currency.
- The winners can now download a digital renminbi app to receive the digital yuan and spend it at over 3,000 merchants in a particular district of Shenzhen.
- The digital yuan is not a cryptocurrency like bitcoin. Instead, it is issued and controlled by the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank.
GUANGZHOU, China — China has started one of the biggest real-world trials for its digital currency as it pushes closer toward creating a cashless future.
Last week, the government in Shenzhen carried out a lottery to give away a total of 10 million yuan (about $1.5 million) worth of the digital currency. Nearly 2 million people applied and 50,000 people actually won.
The winners can now download a digital renminbi app to receive the digital yuan and spend it at over 3,000 merchants in a particular district of Shenzhen. The south China technology hub is home to some of the country’s biggest tech giants including Huawei and Tencent.
Local supermarkets and pharmacies are among the participating merchants as well as Walmart, according to a post by the Shenzhen government messaging app WeChat.
China has been pushing toward a cashless society.
The digital yuan is not a cryptocurrency like bitcoin. Instead, it is issued and controlled by the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank. It is not looking to replace digital wallets like Alipay or WeChat Pay. It will likely work together with them and other banks.
In comparison, Bitcoin is decentralized, which means it’s not owned and controlled
Square (NYSE: SQ) announced Thursday that it has purchased $50 million in bitcoin.
“Square believes cryptocurrency is an instrument of economic empowerment and provides a way to participate in a global monetary system, which aligns with the company’s purpose,” the payments company said in a tweet.
Related Link: Square Reports Q4 Earnings Beat
Dorsey A Bitcoin Bull: Jack Dorsey is the CEO of Square as well as Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR).
Dorsey recently said he believes bitcoin remains the most viable currency for the internet in an interview with Reuters.
The internet “wants a currency,” and bitcoin is the “best manifestation of that thus far,” he said.
“I can’t see that changing given all the people who want the same thing and want to build it for that potential.”
Square is a financial services and mobile payments company based in San Francisco. The company markets several software and hardware payments products and has expanded into small business services.
SQ, Bitcoin Price Action: The price of one bitcoin was $10,746.86 at the time of publication Thursday.
Square shares were trading 1.57% higher at $183 after the market open.
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