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More Apex Banks Jump on e-CNY Pilot Trial Program – The Rise of Global CBDC Issuance?

Jimmy Aki
Last updated: | 1 min read
Source: AdobeStock

China’s e-CNY pilot program is gaining significant attention as three additional banks join the initiative.

Reports from local news outlets reveal that Hong Kong-based HSBC Bank, Hang Seng Bank, and Taiwan’s Fubon Bank are already providing access to the Asian giant’s e-CNY central bank digital currency (CBDC) project.

This follows the earlier announcement by the UK’s Standard Chartered Bank.

Customers of these banks will now be able to transfer and withdraw the state-backed tokenized currency through their respective integrations with the e-CNY platform.

To enhance adoption and accessibility, Hang Seng Bank now allows customers to link their debit cards to the official Chinese e-CNY mobile app and redeem the CBDC asset. Deposits can also be made through the official Hang Seng mobile banking app.

Hong Kong’s HSBC also provides similar access options, while the Taiwanese Fubon Bank enables customers to fund their accounts with e-CNY using its mobile banking platform. Fubon customers can also make payments for goods and services using e-CNY via bank cards.

e-CNY is China’s answer to the growing penetration of blockchain technology into the financial landscape. Although the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is anti-crypto, the Asian nation has fully embraced the benefits of distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The launch of e-CNY (or the digital renminbi) aligns with China’s goal of facilitating convenient payment access for domestic and international trade.

Digital Euro Plans Ongoing

China has not wasted time in putting its CBDC to the test. According to an announcement last month by the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange (SHPGX), PetroChina International successfully purchased 1 million barrels of oil using the digital renminbi.

This transaction represents the first cross-border trade with the e-CNY asset. SHPGX highlighted the importance of this achievement, emphasizing its role in advancing the CBDC program and enhancing its international reputation for efficient trade settlement.

Nonetheless, China has not been the only country actively exploring a CBDC program in the last five years since crypto assets gained widespread recognition.

The European Union (EU) bloc led by Christine Lagarde is also taking steps towards creating a digital euro for seamless trade settlements within its member states.