Nearly $250 billion worth of transactions have taken place using China’s digital yuan in the one-and-a-half years since the start of its pilot, the country’s central bank governor has claimed.
On July 19, People’s Bank of China governor Yi Gang spoke at a conference in Singapore and said its central bank digital currency transacted 1.8 trillion yuan as of the end of June.
Yi added there have been around 950 million transactions from roughly 120 million wallets since the e-CNY’s initial January 2022 rollout lending to an average transaction amount of about $260.
MAS is honoured to have Dr Yi Gang, President of China Society for Finance and Banking as the speaker for the MAS Lecture 2023. Dr Yi spoke on “CBDC from China’s perspective”.
— MAS (@MAS_sg) July 19, 2023
He claimed around $2.3 billion, or 16.5 billion e-CNY, was in circulation at the end of June, which only represents 0.16% of China’s monetary supply, according to a July 19 Reuters report.
The digital yuan’s adoption is still minimal relative to China’s 1.4 billion strong population, so far, the e-CNY had mostly been used for domestic retail payments aside from a few trials in Hong Kong.
On July 18, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported the Bank of China Hong Kong began trialing another cross-border payment scheme for Bank of China customers at select retail stores in Hong Kong.
The trial was rolled out in a bid to further promote the cross-border applications of e-CNY and is the third cross-border trial of the digital yuan in Hong Kong, according to the SCMP.
In a trial last year the BOCHK launched a program that encouraged customers to set up a BOC e-CNY wallet to receive $14 (100 yuan) to be used at the Hong Kong supermarket chain U Select.
In January, the central bank integrated smart contract functionality into the digital yuan to expand upon its use cases.
The $250 billion in e-CNY transactions is an over 70% increase from the number the bank cited in August 2022.
The amount is still, however, far off the amount of value processed by some of the largest public blockchains in the world.