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Chinese consumers spend 8.8 million in digital yuan trial

Consumers in China have spent over 8.8 million yuan in the first week of trials held to test the feasibility of China’s central bank digital currency, in one of the largest trials of its kind to be conducted in the country so far.

Equivalent to around $1.3 million in spend, citizens of Shenzhen in China were participating in the trial which saw them turn to the as-yet-unreleased digital currency for payments in a variety of everyday settings.

First reported in the South China Morning Post, the figures come as the latest findings from China’s slow roll-out of the currency, which has been gathering pace in recent months.

Over 1.9 million applicants were reported to have applied to take part in the trials, with in excess of 47,000 consumers ultimately participating in the program. Those selected to take part were awarded packets of 200 digital yuan for use at supporting outlets, with some 62,000 individual transactions conducted over the duration of the trial.

The more recent round of trials in Shenzhen takes the total spend in China’s digital currency to over $1 billion so far, with the central bank and state authorities keen to extensively trial the technology before any larger scale roll-out.

The news confirms China’s position as a global leader in central bank digital currencies, with reports suggesting China remains ahead of other major central banks in developing a central bank digital currency.

With payment efficiency and security chief among the benefits of a state-backed digital currency roll-out, central banks around the world are showing increasing interest in CBDC pilots.

However, in recent days, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, suggested the United States was waiting to get the right proposals in place, rather than becoming the first to launch.

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