The People’s Bank of China’s (PBoC) Digital Research Institute has entered a partnership with a Chinese ride-hailing company, DiDi, to accelerate the development of the planned digital currency.
Didi enters an agreement to design and implement PBoC’s DCEP
As per the agreement, DiDi will expedite the application of the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) via its ride-hailing platform. According to the company, its DCEP team will design and implement pilot DCEP projects according to the government’s security, safety, and governance standards.
DiDi told Coindesk in an email that the partnership is a huge milestone for the company’s current initiatives of enhancing interconnectivity between offline and online economic sectors. This comes as the government tries to support the development of innovative financial services.
Didi is China’s equivalent of Uber following its acquisition of Uber China. Since its establishment in 2012, it has received backing from companies like Apple, Alibaba, Tencent, and SoftBank.
Although the firm has not provided the finer details regarding the rollout of the pilot plan, we could likely have the first application of PBoC’s digital Yuan initiative. Didi has touted that digital Yuan could reach over 500 million people in the country.
Most recently, Didi was valued at more than $6o billion, although US outlet The Information said in a report in October last year that investors were exiting at a lower valuation. In May, the firm finalized a $500 million capital raise for its autonomous driving division.
DCEP undergoing a test run
In the past few months, there have been leaked UI screenshots showing that four of China’s largest state-owned banks were developing and attest running for a wallet application. This cryptocurrency wallet application will be used for storing, sending, and receiving DCEP.
The test phase is reportedly going on in four Chinese cities in select shops like Subway, Starbucks, and McDonald’s. Also, government agencies are participating in the test run. In April, there was a report on a news outlet that some government agencies were going to receive their allowances in the form of DCEP.