In brief:

  • China will start paying government employees with its digital Yuan in May.
  • Four state-backed banks will be responsible for the issuance of the digital currency.
  • China's digital wallet is already in public beta.

The second step in China's distribution of the digital Yuan will see the currency handed out to state employees next month. 

According to a report from the local news outlet China Star market, the digital Yuan—known officially as a digital currency/electronic payment (DC/EP)—will replace half of state employees' transportation allowances. The test pilot will initially target employees in the city of Suzhou.

Four-state owned banks will issue the payments, says the report, including the Bank of China; the Agricultural Bank of China; the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China; and the China Construction Bank.

Citing an official letter, the report explains that the banks must sign a digital currency distribution agreement before the end of April. As part of the agreement, banks are required to install a digital wallet for all staff.

China's digital wallet is in public beta 

This will follow the initial beta phase, which has just started. As reported by Decrypt, on Tuesday, the digital yuan is being trialled in four pilot regions.

"As we understand it, the DCEP project has reached the next phase of testing," Matthew Graham, CEO of Sino Global Capital, told Decrypt at the time. "Specifically, the testing is with the Agricultural Bank of China, and we are told in four pilot regions."

He tweeted several images of what appears to be a wallet for DC/EP, saying, “Americans still trying to figure out if they should put on a face mask while China pushes out a revolutionary technology.”

So, as America finally works out how to efficiently send money, China demonstrates yet again that they're ahead of the curve.