The “e-CNY (Pilot) App” has now been launched on major web application stores. According to the official introduction, this pilot version is the official service platform for e-CNY (China’s digital fiat currency) to carry out initial projects for individuals, providing services like the opening and management of e-CNY wallets and the exchange and circulation of the e-CNY.
The e-CNY, which is equivalent to banknotes and coins in value, is the digital version of fiat currency issued by the PBC (People’s Bank of China) and operated and exchanged by authorized operators. Different from Bitcoin, China’s e-CNY is the fiat currency in digital form, which has value in reality and cannot be rejected when received.
At present, pilot cities listed in the e-CNY app include Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an, Chengdu, Shanghai, Hainan, Changsha, Xi’an, Qingdao and Dalian, as well as various Beijing Winter Olympics scenarios (including sites in Beijing and Zhangjiakou). Users need to judge whether they meet the registration requirements according to their location.
At present, the digital RMB is still in its testing stage in the R&D process. Whitelisted users developed by operators in pilot areas and pilot scenarios can register on the e-CNY app.
By October 22, 2021, there have been more than 3.5 million pilot scenarios in China, with a total of 140 million pilot scenarios opened. The transaction amount has reached about 56 billion yuan.
In addition, it was previously reported that the PBC stated that its e-CNY app adheres to the M0 (cash in circulation) positioning of e-CNY and does not calculate interest, so as to reduce competition with bank deposits.
Secondly, the e-CNY App adopts a two-tier operation system. In the system, PBC implements centralized management to ensure the ability to regulate and control currency issuance and monetary policy. Meanwhile, commercial banks and other payment institutions act as intermediaries to exchange e-CNY for the public and provide payment services.
Moreover, the e-CNY will be issued in parallel with physical Chinese yuan. PBC will compile statistics, collaborative analysis and overall management of both. Physical CNY will coexists with e-CNY for a long time.
In addition, the e-CNY app also sets some rules such as upper limit of the wallet balance and upper limit of transaction amounts to minimize the risk of run-off.
According to the phase test progress data of the e-CNY App disclosed by Mu Changchun, director of the Digital Monetary Institute of PBC at “Hong Kong Fintech Week 2021,” by October 22, 2021, 140 million e-CNY personal wallets and 10 million corporate wallets have been opened, with the cumulative number of transactions reaching 150 million and the transaction amount approaching 62 billion yuan. At present, 1.55 million merchants support payment of e-CNY wallets, covering public utilities, catering services, transportation, shopping, government affairs and other fields.