China’s efforts to develop a centrally issued digital currency took a leap forward on Sunday when the state-run agricultural bank of China launched the first digital yuan ATMs.
Customers at select stores in the Shenzen region have reportedly started spending and converting the digital yuan they received as part of the Chinese Red Envelope Lottery, which distributes the new $ 3 million currency to 100,000 locals was given.
The ATMs reportedly allow digital yuan to be deposited and withdrawn through a smartphone app and will allow users to convert cash and savings to and from the central bank’s digital currency.
The Agricultural Bank of China is one of the “Big Four” of the country’s state banks, which together represent the four largest banking institutions in the world. The bank’s Digital Yuan Innovation Lab manager Zou Hua said the introduction of ATMs is part of an effort to lead citizens towards the possible digitization of cash.
“Agricultural Bank has taken the lead in introducing the ATM deposit and withdrawal feature to the industry to help Shenzhen residents adapt to the digitalization of cash and research into service transformation,” he said .
Reports in the Shenzen Daily suggest that the accelerated progress of the digital yuan pilot could point to a large-scale rollout within the year. However, in December 2020, the former People’s Bank of China governor downplayed the notion that the digital yuan would replace international fiat currencies, adding that China is taking a more cautious approach following the global knockback on the Facebook Libra, now Diem have chosen. Project.
China is considered a pioneer in central bank digital currencies. The digital yuan is expected to function as a cashless payment method in China’s “smart cities” in the coming years.