China has made significant progress in implementing the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) project. The country has already started preparations for its launch in the coming years. While digital yuan tests are underway for much of 2020, they appear to be very advanced – especially in Shenzhen.
Easy fuel payments
Yesterday, local Daily media informed that gas stations in Shenzhen have started to accept digital yuan. Payments in CBDC can be made at 11 gas stations, and more are to be added in the coming days.
According to the report, the initiative was launched on Tuesday and is led by Guangdong Petroleum, the state-owned oil organization. All participating petrol stations have barcode readers that citizens only need to scan to make payments.
Guangdong Petroleum said it will extend the initiative to over 110 other self-service gas stations before November. The positive feedback to date has aroused the company’s enthusiasm. Citizens reported that the transactions were quick and easy to handle. With digital yuan, you can pay for almost anything – fuel payments, service and purchases at grocery stores located at gas stations.
The digital yuan uses “double offline” technology, which means it works without a phone signal. As long as the cell phone has a battery, it can send assets over a secure network in seconds.
China is leaving others behind
The new initiative is in line with the Shenzhen government’s announcement of a digital yuan pilot program. Local news source Sina Finance on October 9 informed that Shenzhen Luohu County has launched a pilot program in which it will send 10 million digital yuan (worth approximately $ 1.5 million) to approximately 50,000 recipients who will be selected through the lottery.
As confirmed by Sina Finance, lottery winners will be able to spend their assets at any of over 3,500 sales outlets in Shenzhen. However, the assets can only be used between October 12 and 18. The District government has confirmed that it will take back any unused yuan on time.
As this program is about to expire next week, out of nowhere citizens will take digital coins to spend at stations.