The People’s Bank of China, or PBoC, is apparently planning to expand the use of its central bank digital currency, the e-CNY, to four regions, including Guangdong.
According to the South China Morning Post, PBoC deputy governor Fan Yifei stated at an event in Suzhou on Tuesday that the bank will be conducting e-CNY testing in the provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu, Hebei, and Sichuan.
The rumored move would be a significant extension of the central bank’s CBDC ambitions, which have been primarily confined to local cities, merchants, and chosen areas, with a total population of more than 360 million people.
As of January 2022, 261 million people had set up digital wallets for the e-CNY, with over $13 billion in transactions. In addition, the government launched the digital currency for visiting foreign athletes during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and began accepting e-CNY as payment for select public buses in August.
Neither the PBoC nor Chinese government officials have revealed a strategy to make CBDC available throughout the country. Fan stated that the four provinces would be included at the appropriate moment.
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