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China’s national blockchain project aims to integrate with global central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

The Blockchain Service Network (BSN), a Beijing-backed  initiative that was piloted in late 2019, plans to create a universal digital payment network (UDPN) that incorporates other countries’ CBDCs as part of its 2021 roadmap, according to a January 15 blog post cited by Cointelegraph. Currently at the design stage, the beta version of UDPN is expected to be rolled out in the second half of this year and its development will be completed in five years.

The UDPN is expected to enable a standardized digital currency transfer method and payment procedure, as well as bring together systems such as banking, insurance, enterprise resource planning and mobile apps through APIs to provide a cost-efficient global payment solution.

In the blog post, the BSN said China is committed to game-changing CBDC development. “The CBDCs will completely change the current payment and circulation methods of traditional currencies, consistently build payment systems’ resilience, and significantly increase the global circulation of commodities and cross-currency settlement.”

The UDPN is one of four goals on the BSN’s 2021 roadmap. The other three are the further expansion of the BSN network, promoting the private BSN platform, and expanding the BSN ecosystem.

Digital yuan hospital test

Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China has launched a physical card-wallet pilot to test its digital yuan at a Shanghai hospital, reports, citing China’s Tencent News. Staffers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine’s Tongren Hospital use the CBDC token to pay for food using a point-of-sale device and a “hard wallet” card with a small screen in the top right corner showing the user’s credit balance.