Hong Kong citizens not interested in digital yuan: Reports

The Chinese government’s pet central bank digital currency (CBDC) project has not generated much enthusiasm among Hong Kong citizens. In the first four days after “digital yuan” (also known as “e-CNY”) hard wallets became available to islanders, only 625 Hong Kongers actually received them.

How reported According to a local newspaper on Feb. 28, the city of Shenzhen installed digital yuan hard wallet dispensers for the first time in the entire country. Due to the city’s unique location as the gateway from Hong Kong to mainland China, the machines were programmed exclusively to serve the citizens of Hong Kong.

The goal of the initiative, launched by the Bank of China and smart card provider Octopus Card, was to issue 50,000 hardware wallets by March 31st. buyers.

Apparently, even a 20% discount on purchases from 1,400 local sellers, subsidized by the state for CBDC holders, did not become a decisive factor for potential holders.

However, as noted by the Securities Times, local authorities will continue their efforts to promote the digital yuan for Hong Kong citizens, including a SIM-card hard wallet project that will combine financial and communication functions. The reason lies in the larger political mission to integrate the newly independent island city in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Great Bay area.

Hong Kong’s crypto ambitions receive a subtle nod from Beijing

The adoption of e-CNY in the country is still quite slow, despite the efforts of the Bank of China. In October 2022, two years after CBDC entered the market, cumulative e-yuan transactions exceeded just 100 billion yuan ($14 billion). In February 2023, during the Lunar New Year, several cities reportedly gave away more than 180 million yuan ($26.5 million) of CBDC through programs such as subsidies and consumer coupons to speed up adoption.

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