China’s experimental $1.5 million giveaway of digital RMB to Shenzhen citizens ended on Sunday with acclaim from currency analysts – and skepticism from some users saying they preferred existing shopping tools like the ubiquitous Alipay app, reported Reuters.
Under the week-long program, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) gave RMB 200 ($29.75) to each of 50,000 consumers selected in a lottery in digital “red envelopes”, echoing the country’s traditional way of gifting cash, said Reuters.
The largest such trial to date in the world’s second-largest economy had been hailed by analysts as a step forward for Beijing as it chases what has become a Holy grail among the world’s central banks – the first central bank digital currency.
“The event last week really means that the (digital RMB) has already moved from theoretical internal testing to real world practice,” said Wang Shibin, co-founder of cryptocurrency trading platform HKbitEX.
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