China has issued a digital version of its yuan currency. Photo: AFP / Fred Dufour

Screenshots of a purported pilot version of a wallet app for China’s forthcoming digital yuan are circulating on social media, Cointelegraph reported.

Ling Zhang, executive director of M&A, global fiat, at cryptocurrency exchange Binance first shared the images on April 14. They were later retweeted by the exchange’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ). 

Screenshot ostensibly showing a new testing wallet app for the digital yuan
Screenshot ostensibly showing a new testing wallet app for the digital yuan. Source: @lingzh1220

Four cities selected for trial

According to Ling, the app is available for download in four cities selected for the initial trial – Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Xiongan. She highlights the inclusion of Xiongan, a new metropolis located on the outskirts of Beijing, which has been the site of a “smart city brain project.” 

The Xiongan New Area will have enhanced intelligent infrastructure that spans satellite information services, sensor recognition, a 5G network, supercomputing and big data facilities. The city has already attracted the country’s tech giants Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu, with President Xi Jinping visiting on more than one occasion.

Commenting on the screenshots, CZ remarked on China’s apparent “execution speed” in rolling out its trial for the central bank digital currency.

Ahead of the game

China has been been accelerating the development of the digital yuan, notwithstanding the C0vid-19 crisis.

On March 24, the Bank of China apparently completed the development of the currency’s basic functions and was drafting laws for its implementation.