The southern Chinese city of Shenzhen will this week begin the second trial of the digital yuan.
A select section of the tech hub’s population will receive virtual “red envelopes” (gift envelopes traditionally given out during holidays and special occasions) containing the world’s first sovereign digital currency to test its transactional efficacy before it is officially launched, the South China Post reports.
The Shenzhen government plans to give away 20 million yuan (US$3.1 million) to residents of Shenzhen’s Futian district via a lottery. A total of 100,000 digital red packets, each containing 200 yuan (US$31), will be distributed to residents on Thursday – doubling the number of recipients in the city’s first trial.
The lucky recipients will need to download the official digital yuan app to their smartphones to use the currency, and they will be given until January 17 to spend it in selected stores in the city’s Futian district and on some domestic e-commerce platforms.
In mid-October, 8.8 million yuan was spent during Shenzhen’s first week-long trial of the sovereign digital currency in over 62,000 transactions at the 3,389 designated shops in the city’s Luohu district. The Shenzhen government confirmed that 47,573 people out of the 50,000 lottery winners received their digital red packets, after 1.9 million residents applied to take part in the 10 million yuan scheme.