China is taking its digital currency tests to a new level by giving away more than 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) in a new lottery (via CNBC). The state-run People’s Bank of China gave 50,000 randomly selected citizens a “red packet” worth 200 yuan ($30), to spend at several thousand designated retailers in Shenzhen’s Luohu district. The idea is to not only test the technology involved, but boost consumer spending in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The winners will be be required to download a digital Renminbi app in order to receive the digital money, according to state news site China Daily. After that, they’ll reportedly be able to buy goods from local pharmacies, supermarkets and even Walmart,.
China started ramping up trials with the digital yuan last April, when it ran a pilot program that reportedly included US companies like McDonald’s and Subway. Unlike decentralized cryptocurrencies