Reports revealed that McDonald’s and Starbucks are among the list of the first companies to test the digital yuan, China’s famous CBDC. It is highlighted that this initiative is part of a pilot project that will be carried out in the Chinese city of Xiong’An.
Highlighting that the two giant restaurant chains are part of the list of 19 restaurants and retailers that will participate in the pilot tests.
Furthermore, it occurs amid the Coronavirus pandemic and widespread distrust of cash. Therefore, the Banco de Pago Internacional (BIS) indicated that this is the best time to launch the pilot project.
Is banking ready for China’s CBDC?
The deputy director of the Blockchain Research Institute in the Yangtze Delta Region of Tsinghua University, Cao Yin, stated the following.
“The Central Bank has been preparing for the launch both technologically and theoretically for a long time”
Noting that the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has all the resources and enough talent to carry out the implementation of the use of the digital yuan.
What do we know about this pilot project?
This initiative started on September 25, 2019 as an association of companies, higher education institutions, research institutes and technology companies.
According to various international media that reported the scoop, on April 22 the Reform and Development Commission of the Xiong’an district in Hebei province, located near Beijing, had called a conference.
Therefore, government agencies, cryptocurrency developers, and merchants were invited to participate in the pilot project. Proposed digital currency operators, the heads of Ant Financial and Tencent were also in attendance.
In addition, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China, the Bank of China and the China Construction Bank participated in the Conference.
Starbucks and McDonald’s will test the digital yuan
Finally, the conference was chaired by a variety of companies in the retail industry. The food and beverage sectors especially participated.
The list notably included Starbucks and McDonald’s, as well as many caterers, hotels, supermarkets, bookstores, and street food vendors.
Highlighting that one of the companies involved with the pilot is Zhonghai SPV, a special-purpose entity that is working on building the city. Its employees are expected to be the first to use China’s CBDC, as it was the only non-retail company attending the conference.
Could the digital yuan end up challenging the dollar?
Based on information in the national media, four cities were apparently selected for the trials: Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Xiong’an.
In addition, according to rumors, the Agricultural Bank of China, one of the largest commercial banks in the country and owned by the Chinese government, began testing the digital currency.
On the other hand, information about the tests in Suzhou city appears to be directed primarily at local government employees. In that region, the digital yuan is being tested as part of a transportation subsidy scheme for local government and business workers.
In conclusion, as the country gradually returns to normal, the plans appear to have been revived.