On Jan. 20, the third round of digital currency pilot testing, part of larger scheme to introduce the E-Yuan in mainland China, was launched in Shenzhen. As part of the project, a total of 20 million digital yuan will be issued to residents of the local Longhua District.
Up to 100,000 so-called “red envelopes”, each with an amount of 200 yuan, will be given out to those who have purchased social insurance from the commercial entities they work for and intend to stay in the jurisdiction for the upcoming lunar new year holiday.
The pilot run will be conducted in the form of a lottery, similar to former experiments. At 10:00 a.m. on Jan. 26, the event will draw lots to select 100,000 winners, according to local media Yangcheng Evening News.
This is the third round of digital currency experimentation going on in the city.
The first test was held in Luohu District, where the central bank issued 10 million e-yuan in October 2020. When a second round was conducted in Futian District at the beginning of this year, transactions rose to as much as about 18 million yuan in the ten days between Jan. 7 and 17.
The second round also expanded the e-yuan use scenarios, increasing participating merchants and shops from 3,000 to more than 10,000. Among the fields covered were transportation, medical, entertainment and retailing.
The newly-launched round also added two more supporting banks – the Bank of Communications and the Postal Savings Bank of China.
Besides Shenzhen, the central bank last year carried out closed tests in Suzhou and Beijing.
And the digital currency frenzy is not confined to the mainland, as Hong Kong is also looking forward to testing digital currencies in the near future.
On Dec. 4, 2020, the city’s Monetary Authority began working with the Central Bank’s Digital Currency Research Institute to study technical tests for the use of digital currency for cross-border payments, and make corresponding technical preparations, according to the official former’s website.