Beijing to give away over $6 million in latest digital yuan test

Beijing, China's capital city, is set to give away 40 million yuan (around $6.3 million) in its latest digital currency test.

Announcing the news on Tuesday, the Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration Bureau said it will give away 200,000 red envelopes, containing 200 digital yuan (around $31) each, to local residents.

Residents willing to participate in the lottery will have to register through apps of the Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The deadline to register is June 7.

This is Beijing's second giveaway. In February, the city distributed 10 million digital yuan (worth about $1.5 million at the time) to 50,000 local residents. Beijing eventually plans to use the digital yuan in the 2022 Winter Olympics.

To date, China has conducted 10 digital yuan lottery campaigns across 5 cities, according to The Block's calculations. Those campaigns started in October 2020, and a total of 230 million digital yuan (worth around $36 million) has been given away.

Specifically, Shenzhen and Suzhou have each conducted three giveaway campaigns. Beijing is currently going through its second run while Chengdu and Changsha have each completed their first trial.

China has more than doubled the total giveaway amount in digital yuan tests in recent months. As of February, that amount was $17 million across three cities.

China started researching and developing the digital yuan in 2014 and is yet to announce an official launch date. But it is much ahead of other major economies, which are still exploring the idea of a digital currency, including the U.S. and the U.K.