China’s State-owned Bank Launches Digital Currency Pilot Application

China’s state-owned bank has carried out an internal and hypothetical-use pilot of China’s central bank digital currency, also known as DC/EP (Digital Currency/Electronic Payment) in four Chinese cities, including Suzhou, Xiong’an, Chengdu and Shenzhen, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

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China’s eastern city of Suzhou required some employees at state-owned enterprises and local government branches to install DC/EP digital wallets in April in order to receive 50% of transportation subsidies in the form of the digital currency next month, according to China Star Market.

Xiangcheng District in Suzhou is partnering with the central bank and four state-owned banking giants: Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank, to promote the front-end interface pilot project and see how users could potentially interact with it.

According to a screenshot of Agricultural Bank of China (ABC)’s testing application circulated on WeChat this week, the features that will be offered through a DC/EP wallet include paying via a QR code, receiving and sending payments and initiating transactions by touching another user’s phone. The application is only available on an internal site on ABC’s domain.

Coindesk Screenshot of the DCEP testing app by ABC (Source: Coindesk)

China’s payment giant Ant Financial‘s Alipay has participated in DC/EP’s technology and hardware R&D, distribution and payment channel technology, China Star Market said.

Shares in China’s digital currency stocks surged Thursday following the report on state-owned bank’s move to roll out its digital currency application.