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Chinese Workers Increasingly Cashing Out Digital Yuan

May. 13, 2024.
2 min. read. 1 Interactions

Workers in China's pilot program for the Central Bank Digital Currency are swiftly converting their digital yuan into physical cash, signaling doubts about its practicality and appeal.

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Workers in China participating in the pilot program for the country’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) are choosing to immediately convert their digital yuan into physical cash. This trend highlights growing hesitations about the practicality and desirability of the state-backed digital currency.

A recent report from the South China Morning Post reveals that despite China’s transition towards becoming a “functionally cashless” society, the uptake of the digital yuan, or “e-CNY,” has faced significant resistance. Many state employees, who are among the early recipients of their salaries in e-CNY, are opting to cash out their digital earnings right away. Sammy Lin, an account manager at a state bank in Suzhou, explained, “I prefer not to keep the money in the e-CNY app because there’s no interest if I leave it there,” highlighting a lack of financial incentives to retain earnings in digital form. He added, “There are also not so many places, online or offline, where I can use the e-yuan.”

The sentiment is echoed by civil servant Andrew Wang, whose wife, also a recipient of her full salary in e-CNY, converts all her digital currency to cash due to its limited usability. “She can’t deposit the money or buy financial products with the e-CNY wallet,” Wang noted, emphasizing the restrictions that come with the digital currency.

Despite the challenges, more than $250 billion in transactions have been conducted with the digital yuan, as per a statement by Yi Gang, former governor of the People’s Bank of China. However, concerns about privacy and surveillance persist. Ye Dongyan from Beijing’s Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business stresses the need for a better balance between privacy and security to foster wider acceptance of the digital yuan.

These concerns are compounded by the digital yuan’s “controllable anonymity,” which ensures privacy for smaller transactions but not for larger ones, potentially contributing to the hesitation among users to fully embrace the digital currency.

SOURCE: Chinese workers paid in CBDC are cashing it out for real money: Report

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One thought on “Chinese Workers Increasingly Cashing Out Digital Yuan

  1. Whenever there is a choice... Humans have a natural desire to be free.

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