Officials in China said the use of the digital yuan — or e-CNY — has surged to 140 million individual accounts and 10 million business accounts, Bloomberg reported.
Mu Changchun, head of the Digital Currency Institute at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), said per the report that pilot programs in more than 10 regions using the digital yuan hit 62 billion yuan (about $9.7 billion). He added that the volume of transactions totaled 150 million.
The central bank started evaluating the use of the digital yuan for cross-border payments in July and was considering how to develop worldwide principles with the international monetary system.
As it stands now, operators of the digital yuan can open four different types of eWallets for customers, Bloomberg reported. The “least privileged” type only needs a phone number, but it has transaction caps. The “highest privileged” eWallet needs to be opened at a bank counter with personal identification and has no transaction caps.
Changchun said in the report that these digital wallets will glean less data than traditional digital payment services. The PBOC will also keep data private unless the law requires it.
Participation in China’s e-CNY wallets pilot moved beyond 24 million individual and enterprise users at the end of June, with transactions worth about 34.5 billion yuan (about $5.4 billion), the central bank told Bloomberg.
Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are in various stages of development, launch and use worldwide. Beijing, however, is expected to roll out its digital yuan nationally for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The wider rollout would take place after the completion of several trials in retail and domestic settings. Pilot tests in several cities have enabled users to buy goods and services and pay for utilities and other bills.