China Includes Digital Yuan in Cash Circulation Data for First Time

The People’s Bank of China included the country's digital currency in calculations of the amount of currency in circulation in December, a first for one of the early adopters of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and the world's second-largest economy, according to data released by its central bank on Tuesday.

"Starting from December 2022, e-CNY in circulation has been included in the amount of currency in circulation," the central bank report said. At the end of December e-CNY amounted to 13.6 billion yuan ($2 billion).

Cash and bank reserves held by the central bank, a measure of money supply known as M0, grew at 15.3%, the fastest pace in 11 months, to 10.5 trillion yuan in December, with the digital yuan representing only 0.13% of the total. The addition of the e-CNY caused no "notable changes," the PBOC said.

China was among the first countries to develop a CBDC, entering into projects with other nations and the Bank for International Settlements, an association of 61 central banks from around the world. Its pilot scheme involves as many as 26 large cities and 5.6 million merchants, according to a report by the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

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