China announced today that it plans to hand out 200,000 virtual red envelopes, each containing 200 yuan (US$31.30) of the country’s prototype digital currency, to Beijing residents during the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival.

Fast Facts:

  • As in previous tests of the currency — still known to many by its original project name, DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment) — Beijing residents will be able to register in a lottery system embedded in a Bank of China mobile banking app and an app run by the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, providing their phone numbers and ID numbers to participate in the test, which will run from June 5-7.
  • The winners of the virtual red envelopes will be announced on June 11, a day before the Dragon Boat Festival holiday. The e-CNY in each virtual red envelope will be accepted by around 2,000 retail outlets and other businesses in Beijing until June 20.
  • The test is the second large-scale trial of the digital currency in Beijing, and is four times the size of the previous test, held in February, which involved giving away 10 million of digital yuan in virtual red envelopes.