China's Central Bank, Major City to Hand Out $1.5M in Digital Yuan

A local report suggests the pilot is an indication the digital yuan is close to being launched.

Oct 9, 2020 at 10:03 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:06 a.m. UTC

The People's Bank of China and a district of Shenzhen are to hand out 10 million digital yuan (worth around $1.5 million) as "red envelope" gifts to citizens.

  • The initiative comes as another pilot of the in-development digital currency, which has been in trials with commercial entities and state-owned banks.
  • Red envelopes are a traditional way of gifting cash in China on holidays or for special occasions such as weddings.
  • According to a report from Sina.com.cn, the pilot will see 50,000 successful applicants each receive 200 of the digital yuan.
  • They can be spent at 3,389 stores that are set up to transact in the digital currency.
  • Anyone living in Shenzhen can apply for the gift from Oct. 9.
  • The pilot is being help by the central bank in partnership with Luohu District, Shenzhen, which is funding the effort.
  • The report suggests the pilot is an indication the digital yuan is close to being launched.
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