China’s digital yuan approaching $250 billion transaction volume: central bank governor

According to the governor of the country’s central bank, about $250 billion worth of transactions have taken place with China’s digital yuan in the year and a half since the pilot began.

On July 19, Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China, spoke at a conference in Singapore and said that the central bank’s digital currency had a turnover of 1.8 trillion yuan at the end of June.

Yi said that since the initial rollout of e-CNY in January 2022, there have been approximately 950 million transactions from approximately 120 million wallets, with an average transaction amount of approximately $260.

He claimed that there was about $2.3 billion or 16.5 billion e-CNY in circulation at the end of June, according to a July 19 Reuters report, which is just 0.16% of China’s currency supply.

Adoption of the digital yuan is still minimal compared to China’s population of 1.4 billion. So far, e-CNY has been mainly used for domestic retail payments, apart from some trials in Hong Kong.

On 18 July, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that Bank of China Hong Kong has begun testing a separate cross-border payment scheme for Bank of China customers at selected stores in Hong Kong.

According to the SCMP, the trial was launched to further promote cross-border applications of e-CNY and is the third cross-border trial of the digital yuan in Hong Kong.

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In a trial last year, BOCHK launched a program encouraging customers to set up a BOC e-CNY wallet to receive $14 (100 yuan) to use at Hong Kong supermarket chain U Select.

In January, the central bank integrated smart contract functionality into the digital yuan to expand its use cases.

The $250 billion in e-CNY transactions is an increase of more than 70% from the number cited by the bank in August 2022.

However, this amount is still a far cry from the amount of value managed by some of the world’s largest public blockchains.

For example, according to various reports, Bitcoin (BTC) will process $8.2 trillion in 2022.

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