Creative applications for China’s digital currency

We have heard for some time, that China is at some phase of deployment of their digital yuan currency, or CBDC.

It has come to EITN’s attention that China is turning to ‘gachapon’ capsule toy vending machines for testing digital yuan-based payments. Nikkei Asia reports that these vending machines would be deployed in Beijing at venues linked to the 2022 Olympics.

Delfino, the Shanghai-based company that sells and operates these machines in China, was invited to join an Internet of Things project initially, and eventually tied up with state-owned telco, China Unicom, to launch 5G-ready dispensers that accept cashless and QR code payments.

These toy dispensers were installed at 10,000 locations across Chinese cities like Chongqing before the People’s Bank of China decided to also jump onto the ‘gachapon’ bandwagon.

According to Nikkei Asia, Delfino has delivered its machines to five areas where the central bank is conducting pilots of its digital currency. Nikkei Asia reported, “The dispensers previously handled only QR codes for Alipay and other systems, but those used in the trials accommodate near-field communication payments per the central bank’s request.”

Incentive to use digital

Beside this creative use of toy vending machines to encourage use of China’s digital currency, the city of Shenzhen’s issuance of digital currency worth 10 million yuan about 2 weeks’ ago, drew a lot of attention in the world of digital currencies.

Distributed in a random selection fashion to 50,000 residents who had applied, this digital currency can be used at xxx retail outlets in the city.

Shenzhen is one of four Chinese cities to begin testing of the digital yuan, according to Techcrunch.

Because it is issued and managed by China’s central bank, it serves not as a type of cryptocurrency but a digital version of China’s currency, the Renminbi.

Central bank digital currency, is a form of digital currency that other central banks of other countries are starting to explore. Currently, only China is known to have begun trials of a digital currency, with a final version slated to be ready by the Beijing Olympics in 2022.