China Expands Digital Yuan Pilot Program to 17 Provinces

• The People’s Bank of China has announced the expansion of the country’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot program to 17 more provinces across China.
• Two new features, offline payments and smart contract capabilities, are being introduced to the CBDC.
• The PBOC is also looking to increase CBDC adoption by offering wealth management products that accept digital yuan payments in pilot provinces.

People’s Bank of China Expands Digital Yuan Pilot Program

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) recently announced the expansion of its central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as the digital yuan, across 17 more provinces in the country. This comes as part of an ongoing pilot program to test out the use cases for this new form of money.

Offline Payments and Smart Contract Features Added

Alongside this launch, two core features have been added to further improve usage experience with this digital currency – offline payments and smart contract capabilities. Offline payments will enable users to make payments without needing access to the internet through Near-field communication (NFC). Additionally, a “smart contracts” feature will allow users to win daily prizes up to $1,312 through an e-commerce app called Meituan.

Increasing Adoption Of Digital Yuan

In order to increase adoption right from the start, wealth management services that accept digital yuan payments are being offered in some pilot provinces by major investment banks such as China Galaxy Securities. Through these measures, PBOC aims at providing a seamless transition into using this form of money for everyday transactions.

Digital Currencies Gaining Momentum Globally

The rising popularity and acceptance of digital assets has seen multiple countries adding support for these currencies over recent years. Countries like Japan have already issued their own central bank digital currencies while many others are actively researching on developing similar projects for their respective countries.


With its latest announcement, China is taking proactive steps towards making its own CBDC available nationwide while also increasing user adoption through various measures such as introducing offline payment options and smart contract capabilities. As other countries look towards launching their own forms of CBDCs in 2021, it remains to be seen how they stack up against each other in terms of user experience and convenience offered by them