China: New CBDC Trials Indicate Pivot toward Environmental Sustainability

China’s e-yuan pilots are now focusing on going green.

E-Yuan for Environmental Sustainability

According to a report by Ledger Insights, China has kick-started two new pilots for its famed digital yuan. Specifically, these pilots have been initiated in Chengdu and Xiong’an at a combined value of around $2.3 million.

What sticks out about these trials is the fact that they are focused on fostering green travel in addition to promoting the use of the digital yuan among the Chinese.

For those not in the know, Chengdu is the first Chinese city to offer the e-yuan – the Chinese central bank digital currency (CBDC) – across its complete public transportation system which includes its metro, buses, and bicycles.

The Chinese state is hopeful the e-yuan pilots would nudge the individuals to opt for green travel, help energy conservation, and mitigate carbon emissions.

Regarding the green travel initiative in Chengdu, the report reads in part:

“During the two day event in Chengdu from July 3 to July 5, citizens can apply to win one of 100,00 digital yuan public transportation packages that include coupons, reports Sina. Successful citizens store their coupons in a digital yuan wallet and may redeem the coupons for tickets via an app on their mobile phones.”

Moreover, China is not shying away from pushing the envelope in a bid to sustain the long-term usage of digital currency. In that regard, China will publish daily low-carbon travel rankings of its CBDC users. As an incentive, the top 20,000 citizens will receive additional ride coupons in their respective digital wallets.

Details on the Xiong’an Program

In contrast to the Chengdu trial where the e-yuan would be funneled back into the local economy, the Xiong’an pilot allows users to spend the red envelopes sent to them to be spent at designated CBDC retail merchants.

While the Chinese administration is working in full force to make CBDCs the norm and completely replace fiat, skeptics are of the opinion that digital money would irrevocably hamper all users’ financial privacy. However, former People’s Bank of China officials seem to deny this.

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