Following the continuous testing and promotion of China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the city of Xiongan has introduced the first hardware wallet for the digital yuan.
Major Bank ABC Creates Digital Yuan Hardware Wallet
The Xiongan Authorities made the announcement on Sunday (Feb. 7, 2021). According to the announcement, the hardware wallet launched in the Xiongan New Area, was created by the Xiongan branch of the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC).
The digital yuan hardware wallet was unveiled to serve the team for the New Year celebration. Residents in Xiongan can use the hardware wallet to gift red envelopes to friends and relatives, as a way of expressing their wishes for the New Year.
Also describing how the new wallet works, Xiongan authorities stated that the digital RMB hardware wallet would support dual offline payments without the use of Internet. Furthermore, the hardware wallet serves both the young and elderly, as elderly residents can use it without mobile phones.
Meanwhile, the Xiongan government is looking to explore more ways to promote the digital yuan, as part of the announcement reads:
“The Management Committee of the Party Working Committee of Xiongan New District will lead the participating financial institutions to devote themselves to the application and promotion of digital renminbi, and actively make more in-depth explorations in the fields of new digital payment carriers, new scenarios, and new models.”
The ABC’s creation of a digital yuan hardware wallet is the latest in the bank’s efforts to enable the trial of China’s CBDC project, also called digital currency/electronic payment (DE/CP).
As reported earlier in January, the Chinese bank introduced digital yuan ATMS in Shenzhen to enable the conversion of fiat into digital RMB. Back in April 2020, the ABC also launched a mobile application that would allow users to test the DE/CP.
Meanwhile, Xiongan was one of the first regions to trial the digital yuan. In April 2020, the Xiongan New Area’s pilot program reportedly involved popular restaurant companies like McDonald’s, Subway, and major coffeehouse chain, Starbucks.
Apart from Xiongan, other Chinese cities have also been involved in CBDC trials. Places like Shenzhen and Suzhou have carried out DE/CP testing by distributing digital RMB through various red packet events.