China Expands Sovereign Digital Currency; Students now use e-CNY card for purchase

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China’s expanding sovereign digital currency has now arrived in schools via a small device that allows parents to track their children’s location and spending.

The new e-CNY is now available in schools

The new e-CNY card, which is a small mobile phone, is made available to students at Hainan Luxun High School in Sanya, China.

The device allows students to make payments at designated stores and make calls with selected numbers. Location tracking is enabled via GPS, according to the central bank.

Parents can even set device limits through the e-CNY app. China’s digital currency wallet became available nationwide in January.

The application allows parents to recharge their children’s electronic wallets and access their consumption via a special SIM card.

Parents can also select phone numbers that can reach the device, which was co-developed by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and telecommunications companies, according to SCMP.

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In addition to the numbers of three trusted family members, parents can add up to 20 other numbers for incoming calls on the device to help children avoid being harassed by unknown calls.

Since smartphones are banned by the Ministry of Education in primary and secondary schools, Hainan Luxun High School’s project, which covers grades one to 12, aims to meet the communication and resolution needs of parents and students. problems with student daily expenses and travel security.

The Central Bank of China’s own digital currency

China was the first major economy in the world to start exploring its own central bank digital currency or CBDC in 2014, with the effort ramping up in 2019.

The e-CNY is currently being tested in several cities across the country, but there is no official timeline for a nationwide launch.

Ongoing trials remain active in Shanghai, Beijing, Xian and Chengdu. Other cities like Suzhou and Shenzhen have been involved in promoting e-CNY since 2019.

The trials are expected to expand in 2022 to other cities and will include Hangzhou, Chongqing, Tianjin and Guangzhou.

Hainan was the only province to have a region-wide e-CNY trial. As of February, 116,800 stores across the province accepted digital currency, according to Ledger Insights.

Nationally, e-CNY had 261 million users at the end of 2021, double what it had in October 2021.

China’s rapid push to create and develop a sovereign digital currency, known as Digital Currency Electronic Payment or DCEP, has made the country a world leader in this field.

Many other central banks around the world have explored the development of a CBDC. Nine countries, seven of which belong to the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, have launched a digital currency, according to the Atlantic Council.

15 other countries are piloting a digital currency, but China is the largest economy to do so.

The United States is among 40 countries still studying the idea. The Federal Reserve released a research paper on CBDCs in January.

The following month, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston released research on two architectures that could support digital currency.

Related article: China’s digital currency could challenge Bitcoin and even the dollar

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Written by Sophie Webster

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Sylvia B. Polson