China’s e-CNY test runs show progress, but ‘some problems still need to be solved’
Even as developed nations around the world continue to advance to different stages of developing their CBDCs, China seems to be well ahead of the others. However, a People’s Bank of China (PBOC) official revealed that some problems still persisted, especially those relating to regulation and payments.
Speaking at the China Digital Finance Forum, the Central Bank’s deputy governor Fan Yifei said that while e-CNY test runs were showing great potential, “some problems still need to be solved.” He added that regulatory rules, acceptance environments, and payment systems should be improved and optimized.
A central point of contention for the office was the treatment of digital currency in relation to the physical one. He believed that rules drawn out for the CBDC shall be different than those used for regular currency. That its management should not be through account-based methods completely.
In addition to that, the official also touched upon the progress of technical infrastructure. He said the PBOC was also working towards support for the connection between e-CNY and traditional payment systems and between e-CNY digital wallets and bank accounts.
Digital Yuan pilot tests have been gaining momentum with much support from the PBOC, as more businesses experiment with the currency. It was recently reported that Chinese e-commerce giant Meituan has been roped into the testing, as it will soon start airdropping digital yuan “red packets” worth 10 yuan and continue till the end of the year.
Millions worth of the currency has previously been issued and distributed in a bid to ramp up usage and testing. China has been aiming to fully release the currency soon, by the 2022 Winter Olympics that will be held in the country.
Apart from greater citizen adoption, industrial development has also been rapid. Recently, over 20 publicly listed companies disclosed the development of e-CNY products and services which included hardware wallets and varied payment services.