6 Chinese state-owned banks are allowing users in Shanghai and Beijing to open wallets for the digital yuan, the national digital currency, local publication Sina.com has reported.
This shows the testing of the digital yuan is well advanced, as the national digital currency is being tested in various parts of the country.
The 6 state-owned banks that are allowing users in these major cities to apply to open wallets for the digital yuan are the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, Postal Savings Bank of China and Bank of Communications.
The fact that any user in these cities can open a digital yuan wallet is a major breakthrough, as until now the process was based on lotteries or private invitations.
As a result, user participation is expected to be significantly higher than in previous tests. Users will be able to top up their digital wallets with yuans and pay with them at all merchants that accept this means of payment.
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However, even though the applications can be submitted by anyone, the central bank will consider them one by one, which means that they will not be accepted automatically. Users whose applications are accepted will receive a text message giving them instructions on how to download and activate their digital yuan wallet.
China is not the only country developing its own digital currency. For instance, it has recently been known that employees of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (FRS) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US plan to complete their work on a prototype of the digital dollar by July.