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DEC 21, 2023

First ever cross-border settlement achieved for gold using e-CNY

by CoinNess Global

The first ever cross-border settlement for precious metals using China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital yuan or e-CNY, has been successfully completed.

A year of e-CNY firsts

In October, Chinese state-owned media reported that the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange (SHPGX) had been the venue for the first ever significant settlement of an oil contract using the e-CNY. Running along a commodities theme, on Wednesday a similar transaction was carried out once again with Shanghai being the venue, relative to the purchase of gold.
A transaction valued at 100 million yuan ($14 million) was facilitated by the Bank of China’s Shanghai branch through the Shanghai Financial Exchange International Board. That’s according to reports from local Chinese media outlets.
The Bank of China’s Shanghai branch, a key participant in the ongoing e-CNY pilot testing, orchestrated the transfer of e-CNY CBDC settlement received from overseas for the purchase of the gold. A spokesperson for the Bank of China highlighted the strategic significance of the transaction, stating:
“The account will contribute financial strength to support Shanghai’s in-depth implementation of the free trade pilot zone promotion strategy and promote the quality and upgrading of the international trade center.”

Oil, gold and iron ore

This achievement follows on from the Bank of China’s Hong Kong affiliate Bank of China (Hong Kong) (BOCHK) facilitating the import of iron ore to China through the e-CNY just last week. As part of that pilot trial, Baosteel Group, a customer of the Bank of China, purchased iron ore from Bao-Trans Enterprises.
Further expanding its international partnerships, China signed a $400 million memorandum on CBDC cooperation with the United Arab Emirates on Dec. 1. The move underscores China’s commitment to fostering collaboration in the development and implementation of CBDCs on a global scale.

Partnering with foreign banks

The Bank of China is actively collaborating with foreign institutions, including France’s BNP Paribas, to advance the development of the digital yuan CBDC.
In July, Singaporean bank DBS Bank launched an e-CNY product for mainland China-based customers. Amid relentless moves to further the use of the digital currency, British banking giant Standard Chartered joined the advanced stages of pilot trials of the CBDC in November.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, recognizing the pivotal role of CBDCs in cross-border trade, emphasized their importance during an address to the July 2023 Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit. Subsequently, foreign banks have joined China’s ongoing CBDC trials, and Singapore announced its decision to allow Chinese tourists to utilize e-CNY for transactions within Singapore.
In a related development, the official e-CNY app received an update on Tuesday. The latest version allows users to create an e-CNY wallet using their phone number, provides options to disable the wallet in case of phone loss and enables the resetting of passwords and private keys. Users can also link their personal bank accounts and debit cards to the e-CNY wallet for seamless in-wallet purchases.
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