With its ongoing research and development on CBDCs, the People’s Bank of China has established itself as one of the leaders in the CBDC area. Since 2014, it has been doing research with the goal of determining the advantages of CBDCs. In April 2022, the PBoC was able to effectively introduce the CBDC, also known as the digital Renminbi (RMB) thanks to the early adopter advantage.
Despite the fact that the global pandemic in 2020 slowed the progress of the project, it proceeded in a consistent manner toward the goal of overcoming challenges linked to both health and finances. The creation of a digital currency by the Chinese government would be the first instance of a national government supporting CBDC applications. As a consequence of this, a great number of additional nations have realized the importance of maintaining their lead in the competition for blockchain preeminence.
And now, it has come to light that the digital RMB App has undergone a significant update, which has resulted in the addition of new features such as “exclusive avatar” and “personal red envelope.” The Chinese New Year is approaching fast, and this update, which arrives at the perfect moment, is likewise replete with a robust sense of festivity.
Cash Red Envelopes “Turned Out”
When a reporter from China Securities Journal opened the digital RMB app, they saw that an option labeled “cash red envelope” had been added to the page that lists the services. On the page where digital RMB services are provided, the “Consumption Red Envelope” function had already been accessible prior to this. Since 2022, the governments of various pilot regions have organized and carried out nearly 30 digital RMB consumption red envelope activities with the themes of “promoting consumption,” “fighting the epidemic,” and “low-carbon travel.”
These activities have successfully promoted social consumption replenishment and potential release. It is common knowledge that the “consumer red envelope” is a form of payment that is issued by the government, businesses, and other organizational units; its utilization is subject to predetermined parameters, and it cannot be returned to a financial institution for a refund.
This account is different from the others. The cash red envelope is a digital representation of the physical RMB red envelope, and its value is instantly reflected in the balance of the digital wallet. After receiving the cash in the red envelope, there is no restriction on how the money can be used; it can be paid out or put back into the account at any time. The cash red envelope interface reveals that there are two distinct varieties of red envelopes, which are referred to respectively as “group red envelopes” and “exclusive red envelopes.”
It is possible to send “exclusive red envelopes” to contacts that have been pre-designated on a mobile phone. Through various social platforms such as WeChat, QQ, and Alipay, the issuer has the ability to distribute “Group red envelopes.” The more quickly users complete the task, the larger the red envelope will become. Additionally, the sender has the option of selecting their own cover for the red envelope.
There are currently a variety of covers available for users to select within the APP. Some examples of these covers include “Bless the Motherland,” “Happy Birthday,” “Prosperous Fortune,” “Gong Xi Fa Cai,” and “Nian Nian Yi Yu.” According to experts in the industry, red envelopes denominated in digital RMB can be sent and received on WeChat, QQ, and Alipay. This not only demonstrates the idea of ecological interoperability that digital RMB has always advocated, but it also reflects the fact that the industry has embraced it.
User-Specific Avatar Feature
According to the observations of the reporter, the new exclusive avatar function is the second most noteworthy feature introduced by this version. When the user navigates to the “My” page and clicks on the avatar area in the upper left corner of the page, six avatars will be generated automatically at the same time. The user can then select one of the avatars to serve as their primary avatar.
It is clear that the “Yuanyuan” image that is used for the digital RMB IP was the inspiration for the avatar. It is clear from reading the description that the exclusive avatar is one of a kind and will not be shared with any other people. On the Avatar Management page, users also have the option of clicking the Avatar Pendant link to add ornamental components to their avatar.
The marketing of the avatar function reads, “Use the digital RMB avatar to be the only you in the world,” which is intended to appeal to the qualities of young people in today’s society who strive to demonstrate their self-worth and whose emotions are intense. In addition, the function of the digital RMB avatar is incorporated into the digital RMB App promotion plan, and users can acquire further possibilities to make avatars by using the “pull new” feature.
The digital RMB avatar function rules show, “Each account has only one chance to generate an avatar by default. You can invite users who have not registered with the digital RMB App to participate in the event by sharing avatar posters. For every 3 new users successfully recruited, you can generate a new one more time. The more chances of generating avatars, the more new users you attract, the more chances you have to generate additional avatars.”
Focused on Ecosystem Interoperability
In recent times, the digital RMB has been seen to undergo a number of shifts. Before this new release, the digital RMB has recently ushered in a key moment: during this year’s “Double Twelve,” Alipay made the announcement that it has joined the digital RMB acceptance network and extended the digital RMB payment function to users of Taobao.com. According to people familiar with the matter, this represents yet another development in the collaboration between “wallet” and “funds,” which will result in an even wider variety of applications for digital RMB.
Su Xiaorui, a senior consultant in the financial industry at Analysys, said, “At this stage, the development trend of the digital Renminbi pilot is good. The digital Renminbi is steadily advancing on the basis of mature experience in various pilot projects and is adapted to local conditions to integrate into activities such as shopping festivals in various places. Promotion can not only make more users familiar with using digital Renminbi while further expanding the user scale, and providing users with more payment options, but also effectively promote local consumption and provide more support for merchants and the real economy.”
Additionally, just a few days ago, the parameters of the digital RMB pilot program were broadened much further. The application for the digital RMB demonstrates that the initial pilot programs in Shenzhen, Guangdong, Suzhou, Hebei, and Xiong’an, as well as Chengdu, and Sichuan, have had their scopes enlarged to encompass all of their respective provinces (Guangdong, Jiangsu, Hebei, and Sichuan).
Pilot zones were established in the following locations: Jinan City in the province, Nanning City and Fangchenggang City in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Kunming City in Yunnan Province, and Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture. According to Dong Ximiao, the chief researcher of China Merchants Union Finance, joining the pilot in more regions will help to test and apply the digital RMB on a larger scale, test the performance of the digital RMB system more deeply, and help more people experience it in advance. These are all benefits of expanding the pilot program of the digital RMB currency.