Recently, the Chinese city of Suzhou unveiled its new plan to promote the adoption of digital Yuan (e-CNY). The city intends to transact about $297 billion worth of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) this year.
According to local media reports, the Suzhou authorities aim to achieve the goal of digital Yuan transactions involving residents and enterprises, with the targeted value projected to grow six-folds.
As of 2022, residents and companies in the populous city reportedly transacted about $50.5 billion in digital Yuan.
Sources reveal that under the new plan titled “Suzhou Three-Year Action Plan for the Development of Digital Finance Industry (2023-2025)”, the city aims to process about $30 billion worth of digital yuan-powered loans for small and medium enterprises in 2023.
In addition, the city claims that over 30 million residents downloaded e-CNY wallets in 2022, and another one million companies and government entities are accepting payments in the central bank’s digital currency.
While China has been strictly against using cryptocurrencies, it has advocated using CBDC, and Suzhou’s plan complements it. On Monday, Todayq News reported that China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has confirmed its intention to continue and expand the pilot program for its central bank’s digital currency (CBDC), the digital Yuan.
The digital Yuan is currently undergoing a pilot program that has been expanded to 17 more provinces across China. The PBOC focuses on creating a system that allows consumers to “scan with one code.” In April, the government of Shenzhen planned to offer citizens 15 million in digital Yuan in its CBDC giveaway.
In addition, the Chinese central bank also opined that the digital Yuan could promote interconnection between the currency and conventional e-payment technologies. In this case, the institution noted a need for more regulations to help use the digital Yuan. Currently, over 15 cities are actively exploring the mass implementation of e-CNY.
Reportedly, there has also been an increase in users choosing CBDC for payments. For instance, the country’s leading online retailers recorded a spike in users paying through the digital Yuan during the Chinese new year.
In particular, Suzhou has been making numerous advancements recently. It has set its sights on becoming a hub for metaverse development and innovation by 2025. The city aims to attract over 200 companies specializing in virtual reality technology and launch 30 scenarios focusing on healthcare, city planning, tourism, and education.