10% of China’s population have opened digital yuan wallets, per PBoC official

The number of users of China's digital yuan, also known as the e-CNY, has increased by more than six times over the past four months.

That's according to Mu Changchun, head of the Digital Currency Research Institute at the People's Bank of China, who said in the Hong Kong Fintech Week conference that 140 million individuals in China have activated their e-CNY wallets.

That number is about 10% of China's total population and has sharply increased since July when the PBoC said in its first-ever e-CNY white-paper that 20 million retail digital yuan wallets were opened as of June 30.

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In addition, Mu said the number of corporate e-CNY wallets has nearly tripled to 10 million from 3.5 million four months ago. The volume of transactions made through the e-CNY has jumped to 150 million with the total worth amounting to 62 billion yuan, or $9.7 billion, he added during the conference. 

Since late last year, China has been making a wider push to roll out the usage of the e-CNY in major cities through lucky draws initially and then more widely available giveaways.

The Block reported that through a recent partnership with Chinese food-delivery and ride-hailing app Meituan, the PBoC effectively made the download for the standalone e-CNY wallets available to any of the 120 million residents in nine major cities in the country.

The standalone e-CNY wallet also offered a look into how China's central bank digital currency is designed to be programmable via smart contracts so that the digital money can be confined to limited utility purposes.

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Wolfie joined The Block’s news team in 2020 and switched to the research side in 2021 to focus on crypto mining analysis. Prior to The Block, he had been a journalist at CoinDesk for three years. Wolfie has a background in financial journalism.