Oct 23, 2020 06:29 PM

China to Trial Digital Currency and It Doesn’t Matter if You’re Online

What’s new: China’s central bank has completed the technical processes to enable its digital currency to be used without an internet connection, and will apply the function in trial projects, an official said Thursday.

“More new things will be tested in follow-up pilots (of the digital yuan),” Mu Changchun, director of the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) digital currency research institute, said at a financial forum in Beijing.

What’s the background: Earlier this month, China’s southern megacity of Shenzhen used the digital yuan to provide residents with 50,000 digital coupons worth 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) in total, which they could spend in designated shops capable of accepting digital yuan payments. The pilot program went well and was more popular than expected, according to Mu, with nearly 8.8 million yuan spent through digital wallets.

The program is one of the latest moves to expand trials of the virtual currency that has been under development by the PBOC since 2014. In April, the central bank confirmed it was conducting internal trials of the digital currency in four regions including Shenzhen, and in hypothetical scenarios related to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Related: China Gives Away $1.5 Million to Test Digital Currency

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