The People’s Bank of China has entered partnership with UnionPay for online and offline digital yuan

The People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) Digital Currency Research Institute has entered a strategic partnership with a key subsidiary of Chinese payments giant UnionPay.

PBOC’s Digital Currency Research Institute recently executed a strategic cooperative agreement with UnionPay Merchant Services (UMS), for the purpose of “jointly researching online and offline payments scenarios and other innovative applications during digital yuan trials.”

The two parties will also “jointly research expansions to digital yuan product functions and application scopes, and expedite the establishment of a digital yuan ecosystem, with reference to UMS’s current operations, and based on the distinctive wallets ecosystem of the digital yuan.”

The city of Suzhou announced that it will give away 20 million yuan – or $3 million – in the form of digital yuan via lottery, which is similar to the first one conducted in Shenzhen. The purpose is to encourage the testing of DC/EP during the upcoming “Double 12” online shopping season.

PBOC’s Digital Currency Research Institute was granted a patent for “a method and system of using digital currency chip cards to complete offline transactions” in October.

The authorized patent details how the invention relies on either Near Field Communications or Bluetooth to initiate offline transactions. However, once a party that receives the offline transaction is connected to the internet, it will sync up with the central bank’s private ledger and provide the transaction information.

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