Shenzhen lottery winners receive ‚red envelopes‘ containing digital yuan

Winners of the lottery organised by the Chinese city will have 10 days to spend the digital currency at 10,000 supported merchants

Plans to test and encourage the widespread adoption of China’s central bank digital currency, known as Digital Currency Electronic Payment or digital yuan, continue apace.

To celebrate the new year, the city of Shenzhen on Friday offered its residents Bitcoin Millionaire the option of participating in a municipal lottery, with registrations open until this morning at 10 a.m. local time on Monday. Interested parties registered for the lottery using the iShenzhen event registration platform, the administration’s announcement explained.

In total, the city plans to distribute 100,000 „red envelopes“ to lottery winners, each containing 200 digital yuan (about $31). The total value of the envelopes is estimated at around $3 million, and beneficiaries will be able to spend the funds received at the 10,000 supported merchants. The envelopes will only be active for 10 days, after which the funds will expire.

To spend the digital currency, lottery winners will have to download and install an app and create a personal digital wallet, after registering with their ID card and mobile phone number.

As previously reported, China’s much-anticipated digital currency has already been used in over 4 million transactions since November 2020, with a total value of over 2 billion yuan ($299 million). Pilot programmes have been running since April 2020, with the first trials focused on major cities such as Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Xiongan.

The unveiling of the digital yuan has prompted public officials and journalists to analyse its potential geopolitical implications and impact on the global financial system, which continues to revolve around the US dollar as the global reserve currency. In mid-December 2020, the South China Morning Post quoted Zhou Xiaochuan, president of the Chinese Finance Association and former governor of the People’s Bank of China, as saying that the DCEP has no intention of replacing global fiat currencies such as the US dollar or the euro.