China's second-largest online retailer, JD.com will become the first online retailer to facilitate transactions in digital yuan, the cryptocurrency backed by the central bank, as reported by Bloomberg. This marks a significant step forward for adoption of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
The e-commerce company is reportedly set to adopt Beijing's home-grown digital asset for future commercial goals. The process will be led by JD Digits – the company's fintech affiliate – and will focus on accepting the national cryptocurrency for payment purposes for some of the online platform's products.
As per Bloomberg's report, there will be about 100,000 digital cash vouchers, worth 20 million yuan in total, issued to a number of residents of Suzhou city in the eastern province of Jiangsu on December 11. It is expected that JD Digits will be launching the pilot program by the end of the year.
In October, an essential pioneering step to promote the digital yuan was made when Shenzhen's city government gave out 10 million yuan of the digital currency to randomly selected citizens, after President Xi Jinping's visit to the city. The project's primary purpose was to familiarise the population with the upcoming CBDC and its eventual usage in everyday purchases.
However, back then some users' opinions emerged, stating that the digital yuan lacked some essential features, comparing it to be no different than any other digital payment means. Many analysts though asserted that this was a significant further step in China's implementation of its own digital asset for primary usage.
JD Digits will contribute to promoting the process of adopting the CBDC - by supporting the People's Bank of China, and local governments, in the process of launching the digital yuan's pilot programme in Suzhou.
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