China’s digital yuan pilots have sued $300 million so far, says head of PBoC

China’s digital yuan pilot programme is gaining speed.

The president of China’s central bank has given more details about the ongoing digital currency pilot in the country.

Yi Gang, the president of the People’s Bank of China, said the digital yuan pilots have processed more than four million transactions to date, totaling more than 2 billion yuan (US$299 million). The official made those latest comments at the Hong Kong Fintech Week conference on Nov. 2, Bloomberg reported.

According to Yi, the pilots are doing well so far, having conducted major tests in four cities.

The growing demand for digital and contactless payment methods crypto profit in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic has presented major challenges for central banks, which are trying to reconcile user security with convenience, Yi said.

He noted that fintechs have some important advantages over commercial banks in terms of building a customer base and managing risk.

The PBoC launched the first pilots for its future digital yuan in April 2020. The initial test would have included four major cities: Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Xiongan. The programme was expanded to nine cities, including Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macao.

In early October, the PBoC officially announced that the yuan digital wallets processed US$162 million in transactions between April and August 2020.

Large technology companies have already begun to prepare for the apparently inevitable launch of digital yuan. Huawei recently announced that its newest smartphone, Mate40, will have a wallet for the currency and will allow users to transact with it even when they are offline.