Ant-backed MYbank to help China expand digital yuan trial

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Tencent-backed WeBank and Ant Financial-backed MYbank will reportedly be the first private banks to join China’s digital yuan pilot.

China’s central bank is pushing exposure to its ongoing national digital currency pilot by enlisting two major private banks in the project.

According to a Monday Bloomberg report, MYbank and WeBank will help the People’s Bank of China extend its user exposure in the ongoing pilots of its central bank digital currency, the digital yuan.

As part of the integration, MYbank’s service will soon be introduced to the PBoC’s digital yuan app, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

The e-wallets by MYbank and WeBank will reportedly have exactly the same functions as those from the six state-owned lenders in the trial. As previously reported, the PBoC has been collaborating with state-owned banks like the Bank of China, China Construction Bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China on the project.

A spokesperson for MYbank told Bloomberg that the bank will “steadily advance the trial pursuant to the overall arrangement of the PBoC.” MYbank and WeBank did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, WeBank is China’s top digital bank, providing service to more than 200 million customers as of May 2020. The bank has been actively experimenting with blockchain technology in recent years, becoming one of the world’s biggest blockchain patent filers in 2019. Chinese internet giant Tencent is reportedly the biggest stakeholder in WeBank, owning a 30% stake.

Launched by Alibaba and its affiliate firm Ant Financial in 2015, MYbank is a major online private commercial bank focused on lending services to small and medium-sized enterprises. Alibaba founder Jack Ma is the biggest shareholder in MYbank, reportedly holding a 30% stake.

Last week, China’s state commercial bank, the Postal Savings Bank of China, released a biometric hardware wallet in a move to simplify access to the CBDC.

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