China to launch the world’s first official digital currency

China appears set to become the first country to put a central-bank digital currency (CBDC) into limited use.

Starbucks , McDonald’s and Subway chains in China were named on the People’s Bank of China’s list of firms that will test the national digital currency in the near future.

A digital currency is a generic term that may or may not be a cryptocurrency. Cryptos are decentralized by design, and also used for their privacy — something that is anathema to the Chinese government.

This particular currency, once referred to as a digital yuan, will also be given a test at Chinese hotels, convenience stores, a bakery, a bookstore and a gym in the Xiong’an New Area, a city being built south of Beijing.

China’s estimated 890 million unique mobile payment users made transactions totaling around $20 trillion in 2019. The number of people making mobile merchant payments is expected rise from around 577 million last year to an estimated 700 million in 2022.

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