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China to Test State-Backed Digital Currency in Four Regions

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China is actively moving forward with its Central Bank Digital Currency. New reports are now revealing how the rollout for the project could go. 

Yesterday, Ling Zhang, the Executive Director of M&A and Global Fiat at cryptocurrency exchange Binance, shared pictures of a purported wallet app that will be used in tandem with the Chinese digital asset on social media. 

Commercial and Tech Hotspots Will Get the Digital Yuan First 

Zhang confirmed that the wallet app is now available for download in four cities that the government has earmarked to be testing grounds for the asset – Xiongan, Chengdu, Shenzhen, and Suzhou. 

The selection isn’t especially surprising. Shenzhen is a notable economic district in the country. Zhang also noted that Xiongan is a new metropolis on the Beijing outskirts that has recently been dubbed the “smart city brain project.” 

The Xiongan New Area will come with an advanced smart infrastructure, with satellite information centers, sensors for identity recognition, an extensive 5G network, big data, and facilities for supercomputers. Several large tech companies – including Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu.

Beijing has been doing its best to ensure the adoption of digital assets moves forward, even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Of course, given that the government has been rumored to be on the development trail since last year, this isn’t much of a surprise either. 

Several experts have pointed out that the digital yuan will be launching sometime this year. If the government is rolling out tests in several regions, it would appear that the launch date isn’t so far off anymore. 

Blockchain Adoption is Speeding Up Too

China has also been working significantly to improve blockchain adoption. Yesterday, the government published an official note in which it noted that it had set up a committee that will help build blockchain and distributed ledger technology standards across the country.

As the note explained, the technical committee is made up of representatives from 15 organizations, all drawn from various sectors of the economy – including the financial, political, academic, industrial, and research industries. The list includes people from the Digital Currency Research Institute, the People’s Bank of China, Tencent, Baidu, MIIT, and the Zhejiang University.

The committee lists 71 members from these organizations and more. MIIT vice-minister Chen Zhaoxiong will lead it. Di Gang, the vice head of the PBOC Digital Currency Research Institute, will also act as a committee vice-chairman. 

China’s blockchain investment is also beginning to catch the eye of organizations based in the United States. A recent report from New York-based research firm CB Insights explained that the country is rapidly catching up with the United States in terms of blockchain-related investments, with the economic powerhouse recording 22 percent of all blockchain investments in 2019. 

On the flip side, the United States accounted for 31 percent of investments. This represents a significant shift, especially since China had just 2 percent of all blockchain investments in 2015 – a period when the United States had 51 percent. 

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