Even though there is little buzz surrounding China’s digital yuan, the project is still gaining momentum. Over 260 million individuals have downloaded the wallet needed for using this CBDC. Of course, that doesn’t mean there are 260 million users, although it is an exciting statistic.
The Digital Yuan Is Still A Thing
China surprised the world by going all-in on a CBDC a while ago. Although the project saw a very limited pilot, it appears the government continues to roll it out to more provinces. Today, roughly one in five Chinese have downloaded the digital yuan wallet application. Moreover, it has been used to power over 78.5 billion yuan – or $13.8 million – in transactions.
It is worth noting the digital yuan wallet was in development since 2014 and took a good while to be released to the public. Since early 2022, Android and iOS users can download the e-CNY wallet from their respective app stores and set up an account. However, the e-CNY is still in the pilot phase.
Despite being in that phase, the wallet now poses competition to Tencent and Ant Group applications. Those solutions represent 94% of China’s digital payments space, highlighting the need for new entrants. While a CBDC may not necessarily sway people’s minds, the overall uptake of the digital yuan seems to hint at bigger things to come.
There is a difference between users who like the wallet and those who enjoy the concept of a digital yuan. Four in five appreciate the wallet and its convenience, whereas only three in five favor the e-CNY. Additionally, over 25% claimed they don’t use the app because they don’t need it, with another 17% relying on alternative solutions. There is still much work to do for China’s CBDC, but the progress to date seems promising.