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Chinese Bank Launches CBDC Bulk Commodity Clearing Service – Digital Yuan Adoption Accelerates?

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
A closeup view of a mobile phone screen resting on a computer keyboard with the logo and symbol of the Chinese digital currency, the e-CNY.
Source: Ralf/Adobe

Banks in China are looking to adopt the digital yuan in more of their operations, and have launched the nation’s first central bank digital currency (CBDC)-powered settlement service for bulk commodity spot clearing.

Per JRJ, Industrial Bank, a Fuzhou-based joint-stock commercial bank, has launched the country’s first e-CNY settlement service for bulk commodity trading firms at the Shanghai Clearing House.

The move comes a month after the Shanghai Clearing House announced its intention to start using the digital yuan in its operations.

Chinese firms are some of the world’s most active commodities buyers.

And the Global Times last month reported that officials have claimed that adopting the digital yuan in clearing houses will “make cross-border settlement of bulk commodities more secure.”

They also think the e-CNY will make the process “faster, more efficient, and more cost-effective for financial institutions and service providers.”

Seven other banks also plan to begin offering similar services, JRJ noted.

The bank said that it had cooperated with the Shanghai Clearing House “to integrate digital yuan payment methods into the clearing and settlement process for commodity spot transactions.”

And it said this would “provide customers with more convenient and improved settlement transaction options.”

Industrial Bank began working with the Shanghai Clearing House on bulk commodity spot clearing in 2022.

It already processed some $3.6 billion worth of transactions in the sector.

A bank spokesperson said:

“In the future, we will continue to explore and expand applications of the digital yuan for commodity transactions.”

Chinese Banks Step up CBDC Adoption Drive

The central People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is also welcoming more regional banks into its pilot.

The Xinbao Observer (via Sohu) reported that the Tianjin Binhai Rural Commercial Bank’s Chengxi branch, in Qinghai Province, issued the bank’s first-ever personal digital yuan loan to one of its customers.

The bank this month issued a loan of around $14,000 worth of e-CNY to a Chengxi-based individual surnamed Cheng.

Last month, banks announced the rollout of a number of wealth management products that may eventually allow Chinese traders to buy securities with the digital yuan.

The state-owned commercial banking firm the Bank of China joined the PBoC’s Hong Kong cross-border payments pilot in March.

And earlier this month, government-owned telecoms firms stepped up their own involvement in the CBDC project with the launch of SIM card-based offline wallets.