Almost two million people living in the Chinese city of Shenzhen signed up for a 10 million (US$1.48 million) digital yuan giveaway over the weekend.

  • According to reports by AsiaOne, of the 1.91 million residents who put their hands up for the latest test of China’s sovereign digital currency, only 2.3% of applicants won their free money.
  • Around 50,000 digital "red envelopes," reminiscent of the traditional gifts doled out in China for special occasions and each containing 200 digital yuan ($29.60), were handed out Monday.
  • The free digital currency is destined to be spent at 3,389 stores set up to handle the electronic means of payment as part of China's latest test, and promotion, of its national digital currency.
  • The Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP), as it is known, has been given no definitive timeline for its launch but a giveaway in Shenzhen may signify efforts by China's central bank to ratchet up its plans.
  • One obstacle for obtaining the nation's digital yuan requires users to open a digital wallet, which has raised concerns over how children and the elderly can participate.
  • As cited in AsiaOne's report, an unidentified user said the digital currency was a "litmus test" for the "new economy" with the potential to unseat the U.S. dollar’s role as the dominant global currency.

See also: Chinese Ex-Banker Says Digital Currency Should Replace Fiat Money

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