China’s digital yuan transactions reached 1.8 trillion yuan ($250 billion) at end Q2 2023, announced Yi Gang, Governor, People’s Bank of China at a conference in Singapore.
This was 18 times greater than the figure of around 100 billion yuan recorded between the digital yuan’s launch and August 2022.
If accurate, the figures mean people used the prototype central bank digital currency (CBDC) for transactions worth 1.7 trillion yuan in the 10 months to June.
The total number of e-CNY transactions had reached 950 million transactions made from approximately 120 million wallets with an average transaction amount of roughly $260.
He further claimed that around 16.5 billion e-CNY was in circulation at the end of June, representing only 0.16% of China’s monetary supply.
The e-CNY transactions amounting to $250 billion represent a growth of over 70% compared to the figure cited by the central bank in August 2022.
The digital yuan’s adoption is still minimal relative to China’s 1.4 billion strong population, so far mostly being used for domestic retail payments aside from a few trials in Hong Kong.
“Right now the balance of e-CNY is only counting two-tenths of 1% of M0, so that the balance is very small, but with this kind of balance (we) support a big number of transactions, which means that the velocity is high and more efficient,” said Yi.
The PBOC launched pilot trials for the e-CNY at the end of 2019 and has been testing the digital currency in various cities across China, including Suzhou, Shenzhen, Xiongan, and Chengdu.
In July, the city of Jinan implemented e-CNY payments for public transportation fares. The Shanghai Clearing House also recently added support for digital settlements.
Meanwhile, Bank of China expanded e-CNY testing to SIM cards and NFC payments.
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