China is pushing ahead with plans to adopt a digital yuan.
According to Fujin News, individuals and businesses in China’s Fujian Province have processed digital yuan transactions worth nearly $22 billion, a number that reflects the rapid progress of the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) initiative.
It also comes during a time in which the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has banned the use of other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The reports follow news from 2022, in which three Chinese provinces declared their intention to distribute digital yuan (e-CNY) to citizens in the form of “red packets,” with a total value of around 90 million yuan.
Fujian Province was included in the pilot zone for the CBDC last year, and it made history in October by completing China’s first digital yuan-powered land transfer transaction.
Official statistics from the province reveal that citizens have spent over $14.5 million on digital yuan transactions, and nearly $9 million worth of digital yuan tokens were distributed during promotional events by the province and its partners.
The media outlet further reported that a total of 2,572 vendors and merchants in Fujian Province now accept digital yuan payments, including toll booths on the Fuxia (Fujian-Xiamen) Expressway, which is a crucial network of highways traversing the region.
Increasingly, Chinese toll booths are enabling drivers to pay highway tolls using the country’s CBDC.
The province announced that it has established e-CNY “tax payment points” in unmanned “electronic tax bureaus” and banks across the area. It disclosed that individuals and businesses had utilized these payment options and others to pay $254 million in taxes over the last year.
Moreover, since the inaugural e-CNY-powered land transaction in October, an additional 74 properties have been exchanged using digital yuan.
Push for a digital yuan
According to Fujian, the province started providing digital yuan relief loans to local enterprises in November of last year. Additionally, it has been employing the digital currency to procure carbon sinks for environmental enhancement initiatives.
Fujian reported that it has executed 14,700 e-CNY payments for carbon sinks since the launch of the program.
Read more: Chinese cities gives away $26.6M in Digital Yuan to drive adoption
According to the Global Times, around 200 events were organized and approximately 180 million Digital Yuan (e-CNY) were distributed as subsidies and consumption coupons in various Chinese cities during the 2023 Spring Festival holidays. The total value of the e-CNY distributed was over $26.6 million.
In Hangzhou, each resident was given an e-CNY voucher worth 80 Yuan ($12). The city also allocated 4 million Yuan (approximately $590,000) to boost holiday spending.
Fujian has announced its intention to further advance the adoption of digital yuan in the future. The province plans to concentrate on utilizing the CBDC in “smart contracts and supply chain financing.”
In the meantime, the central bank is aiming to demonstrate the digital currency’s capabilities in ongoing cross-border trials in Macau and Hong Kong.
Other cryptocurrencies, however, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, have been banned in mainland China since 2021. Following China’s ban, more than $50 billion worth of cryptocurrency left East Asian accounts to accounts outside the region, Chainalysis found.
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