Shenzhen resident Zhao Xiaoran, 29, was among 50,000 lucky recipients who won 200 e-yuan (US$30) in a government lottery, part of a pilot project to test China’s new cryptocurrency at the grassroots
The district of Luohu, in the southern city of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, collaborated with the People’s Bank of China in issuing 10 million yuan worth of the new currency, which is called Digital Currency Electronic Payment, or DCEP.
China’s central bank is the first in the world to advance its own digital currency to such a late stage. The move has been in the planning for years. Once adopted, it would become the world’s first official currency to exist in cyberspace.
“This is an important aspect of the country’s intelligent financial infrastructure campaign,” said Yu Jianing, president of Huobi University and an expert on virtual currencies. “The implementation of an official digital currency will have an impact on China’s financial sector and its socioeconomic development in the next two decades.”
Winners like Zhao need to download an app to receive and spend the digital money. It can be used at over 3,000 designated retailers in Luohu District. Altogether 62,788 transactions were made with the digital currency during the promotion period ending Sunday, with the transaction amount totaling 8.76 million yuan, according to data from the local government.
“I signed up for the program just for fun, like everyone around me,” Zhao told Shanghai Daily. “My colleagues and friends are all talking about it. It’s really cool.”
Read more at Shanghai Daily