China’s efforts to develop a centrally-issued digital currency took a leap forward on Sunday as the state-owned Agricultural Bank of China launched the first digital yuan ATMs.
Customers at select branches within the Shenzen region have reportedly begun spending and converting the digital yuan they received as part of China’s “red envelope” lottery, which saw $3 million worth of the new currency gifted to 100,000 local citizens.
The ATMs reportedly allow the deposit and withdrawal of digital yuan via a smartphone app and allow users to convert cash and savings to and from the central bank digital currency.
The Agricultural Bank of China is one of the country’s “big-four” state-owned banks, which collectively represent the four largest banking institutions in the world. Manager of the bank’s Digital Yuan Innovation Lab, Zou Hua, said the ATM rollout was part of efforts to guide citizens towards the eventual digitization of cash.
“Agricultural Bank has taken the lead in launching the ATM