The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the digital currency research institute, has developed the “e-CNY (Pilot Version)” app, available for download on Chinese Android and Apple app stores on Tuesday in Shanghai.
It has been reported that individual users in China now can download an earlier version of the app to test opening and managing a personal wallet, as well as digital yuan transactions.
However, according to a report from Reuters, the app claims it is in an experimental research and development phase and is only accessible to select individuals through authorized e-CNY service providers.
The report said that in late fall 2021, PBoC Governor Yi Gang stated that the country would continue to develop its central bank digital currency (CBDC) and improve design and usage, including enhancing interoperability with current payment systems. The PBoC announced in a year-end meeting that it would continue to push for the further development of the digital yuan.
Likewise, China has taken a significant lead in developing a CBDC for public use, outstripping the majority of countries, which are still in the research stages of a CBDC. The People’s Bank of China said the digital currency could be used during the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.
Senators from the United States have expressed concern over this claim, stating that American athletes should not utilize the currency at an event hosted in China. The US Federal Reserve, meanwhile, is still contemplating whether or not to introduce a CBDC for the United States.
Thus, in September, the United States’ central bank stated that it was studying the benefits of creating a digital dollar and would eventually present a paper on the subject.