China Con­struc­tion Bank (CCB) in­di­cated that it had launched a dig­i­tal cur­rency wal­let

One of Chi­na’s big six state-owned banks has pro­vided the world with a brief glimpse of what wal­lets for Chi­na’s dig­i­tal ren­minbi are set to look like fol­low­ing of­fi­cial de­ploy­ment, with ex­perts point­ing to the im­mi­nent launch of large-scale tri­als.

Ac­cord­ing to do­mes­tic me­dia re­ports on 29 Au­gust the of­fi­cial app for China Con­struc­tion Bank (CCB) in­di­cated that it had launched a dig­i­tal cur­rency wal­let, with the ad­di­tion of two menus for “dig­i­tal wal­let top-ups and “dig­i­tal cur­rency”.

The new fea­tures also per­mit­ted users to di­rectly link their bank ac­counts to the dig­i­tal cur­rency wal­let on their apps.

The fea­tures were only pre­sent for less than a day, how­ever, with the CCB app cur­rently in­di­cat­ing that “this func­tion is tem­porar­ily not of­fi­cially avail­able ex­ter­nally for ser­vice – please wait”.

CCB said that it had launched func­tional test­ing of new fea­tures on its mo­bile app on the evening of 28 Au­gust, and that this test­ing has al­ready con­cluded.

Chen Wen­jun, an ex­pert on the dig­i­tal econ­omy from Fu­dan Uni­ver­sity, said to Bei­jing Busi­ness To­day that CCB’s on­line test­ing of a dig­i­tal cur­rency wal­let means that tech­ni­cal prepa­ra­tions are ba­si­cally com­plete, and the large scale-test­ing phase will soon be launched.

“CCB is a big state-owned bank, and a nec­es­sary in­ter­me­di­ary for cir­cu­la­tion of money,” said Chen. “Bring­ing dig­i­tal cur­rency on­line was a trial op­er­a­tion, and in a trial op­er­a­tion there can be many de­tails that emerge and re­quire re-con­sid­er­a­tion.

“For this rea­son it’s very nor­mal for de­bug­ging to be per­formed fol­low­ing the tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion of test­ing.”

Ac­cord­ing to sources the dig­i­tal cur­rency wal­let is at pre­sent only fully avail­able in cer­tain trial zones where Chi­na’s CBDC is be­ing tested.

One source who is cur­rently us­ing the CCB dig­i­tal ren­minbi wal­let as part of tri­als said that the app has to­tal of nine ser­vice func­tions in­clud­ing “de­posit,” “trans­fers,” “trans­ac­tion de­tails,” “link­age to ac­counts,” “credit card pay­ments” and “wal­let can­cel­la­tion.”

China first com­menced re­search into the de­vel­op­ment of a CBDC in 2014, with PBOC of­fi­cials al­lud­ing to the “im­mi­nent” re­lease of a statu­tory dig­i­tal cur­rency at a press con­fer­ence in Au­gust 2019.

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