Digital Yuan Airdrop for Shenzhen Residents

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  • China has increased its digital yuan testing to include a public test in Shenzhen
  • 50,000 residents will receive about $30 worth of the CBDC to spend with participating retailers
  • The Shenzhen trials come a week after it was announced that Beijing will test the currency through 10,000 vending machines

China has increased the magnitude of its digital yuan trials by announcing a pilot program in Shenzhen that will see 50,000 recipients receive an airdrop of 10 million yuan in the new currency that they can use at participating merchants. The news comes a week after the government announced that 10,000 toy vending machines in Beijing would be upgraded and rolled out to accept the digital yuan, and marks the speed at which the country is pressing ahead with its plans.

50,000 Residents to Get ¥200 Each

The pilot, reported by China Global Television Network, will see the 50,000 recipients picked via a lottery, with the money, equal to ¥200 ($30), able to be spent at 3,389 designated merchants, including restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, and other businesses in Luohu District.

The week-long Shenzhen trial is one of a number of test applications of the new currency and its associated digital yuan app, with the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing earmarked as a huge opportunity to test the digital yuan on a large scale.

In the run up to this, various tests are being carried out in cities around the country, such as last week’s announcement that 10,000 toy vending machines in Beijing have been upgraded to accept the digital yuan and rolled out in the city.

China’s Digital Yuan Pilots Reflect Progress

China’s four major state-run public banks – Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, and China Construction Bank – are also said to be running large-scale internal tests of a digital yuan mobile app, with trialists able to use the wallet to top up accounts, withdraw money, make payments, and transfer money.

The increased rollout of digital yuan tests is reflective of the progress China has made on their stablecoin after six years of exploring the idea, progress that has its financial and political opponents worried.