China has expanded its digital currency experience by implementing the Yuan Digital Conversion feature at more than 3,000 ATMs in Beijing.
Two large Chinese banks now allow customers to exchange the country’s new central bank digital currency (CBDC) for fiat at more than 3,000 ATMs in Beijing, the news agency reported Xinhua on Friday.
The two financial institutions that support the withdrawals and deposits of the two versions of the yuan are the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC).
ICBC, which operates more than 3,000 ATMs in China’s capital, is reportedly the first bank in the country to add full support for withdrawals and deposits of the digital yuan – also known as Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP).
ABC has added the same feature at about a dozen ATMs on Wangfujing Street, a major commercial and business area in Beijing’s Dongcheng district.
A CBDC is a state-controlled digital equivalent of a physical currency, such as the US dollar, euro, or Chinese yuan (renminbi). Unlike regular yuan, DCEP is programmable money. It is not based on a blockchain.
Several countries are conducting CBDC experiments, but China is leading the race. The People’s Bank of China, the county’s central bank, plans to use the digital yuan as a substitute for cash.
Earlier this month, Beijing’s Bureau of Local Financial Administration and Supervision announced that 200,000 of the city’s residents could participate in a lottery for 40 million renminbi (US$6.2 million). Prizes, delivered using digital “red envelopes,” will be distributed in the digital yuan.
DCEP pilots took place in other major cities in China. Shenzhen, the country’s leading technology center, held a similar lottery in October 2020. This distributed more than 10 million yuan (approximately US$1.5 million) among 50,000 residents.