The digital currency being developed by China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has reportedly already been used to move over 1.1 billion yuan ($162 million) in over 3 million transactions amid ongoing pilot programs.

According to a deputy governor at PBOC, Fan Yifei, 3.13 million transactions using the digital currency, a digital equivalent of the country’s fiat currency the yuan, known Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DC/EP), were made in various tests occurring in major cities such as Shenzhen and Xiongan.

The South China Morning Post details Fan’s  words came at the Sibos banking and financial conference, where the executive said the pilot progress made “positive progress” and saw the DCEP be implemented in over 6,700 use cases, including bill payments, transport, and government services.

The digital currency is reportedly being used across multiple payment methods, which include facial recognition, tap-and-go transactions, can bar code scanning, Fan said. He added:

PBOC regards digital renminbi as an important financial infrastructure for the future.

The central bank has reportedly also rewarded about 5,000 medical and healthcare workers with the DCEP, for their involvement in the treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic. The digital currency is expected to further help push the Chinese economy towards a cashless society.

The pilot programs have reportedly seen DCEP users create more than 113,300 personal digital wallets, and about 8,000 corporate wallets. Four major state-run banks have been participating in the digital yuan’s test: China Construction Bank, Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Agricultural Bank of China

The DCEP is also set to be tested at the coming Winter Olympics in 2022. Notably, the South China Morning Post details that Fan, former chairman of Shanghai Bank and deputy secretary of China Investment Corporation, warned cryptocurrencies could challenge a central bank’s ability to print money.

Fan noted, however, the digital currency would give PBOC the ability to track economic activity in real-time.

Featured image via Pixabay.