Digital Yuan to be Tested on 10,000 Toy Vending Machines

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  • China’s digital yuan is set for a real world test, with 10,000 toy vending machines being deployed in Beijing that will accept the CBDC
  • The vending machines are the first example of public use of the digital yuan
  • The development illustrates just how far along the road China is in developing its national stablecoin

China’s digital yuan is to be trialled in the real world on a series of 10,000 toy vending machines. The Japanese-style gachapon capsule toy vending machines, which will be rolled out in Beijing at venues linked to the 2022 Olympics, will accept the digital yuan as well as other cashless payment methods. The trial represents the first public use of the digital yuan that has been in the works since 2016 and shows just how far ahead China is from other powerful countries when it comes to development of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Digital Yuan Making a Toy Story

The digital yuan trial, reported over the weekend by Nikkei Asia, represents the first public use of the national cryptocurrency that has been in the works since 2016 and is the latest development since screenshots of the payment app were leaked in April.

The gachapon capsule vending machines are considered a perfect test for the digital yuan because small payments are made frequently, echoing the kind of use they will receive when used on a daily basis by the population.

The machines have been upgraded from handling QR codes only, which are used by Alipay and other systems, to include near-field communication (NFC) technology at the request of the People’s Bank of China, with the digital yuan clearly developed to utilize this payment method.

China Progress Will Worry Opponents

The digital yuan-accepting vending machines are a result of a tie in between Chinese authorities and Delfino, the Shanghai-based creators and operators of the machines in China. The digital yuan trial is no small thing – vending machines have been installed at 10,000 locations in Chinese inland cities, representing a stiff challenge for the fledgling CBDC which was first discussed by Chinese authorities in 2016.

The sight of the digital yuan being used in public will send shivers down the spines of those who worry about the impact of the Chinese CBDC on the power of the dollar, especially when the U.S. is making glacial progress on a digital dollar in comparison.