The Shanghai Clearing House, a financial services clearing counterparty under China’s central bank, started digital yuan clearing and settlement services for trading in commodities on Monday, marking another step in the institutional adoption of China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The services allow users to make cross-bank clearings and settlements on commodities with the digital yuan, according to a Monday announcement by the Shanghai Clearing House, which handles bonds, interest rates, foreign exchange, credit, and commodities.
The services could improve the security and cost effectiveness of cross-border settlements of commodities, and boost the internationalization of China’s currency, Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute of the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, said in a Global Times report on Sunday.
Shanghai Clearing House’s move is not the digital yuan’s first use in commodity trading. In October 2022, Shandong International Commodity Exchange facilitated a 1 million yuan settlement on imported rubber with digital yuan, the first digital yuan commodity trading use case in the city of Qingdao, China.
China’s CBDC pilot is also spreading in retail usage. On June 20, Qingdao city launched the country’s first digital yuan payments for urban rail transit fees, where users pay from digital yuan hard wallets embedded in their SIM cards.
Also on June 20, JD.com, one of China’s leading online shopping platforms, said it saw a 254% increase in the number of digital yuan transactions during the 618 Festival – a shopping festival started in 2010 and taking place from late May to June 18 – from the same period last year, with transaction amounts breaking the record, according to the company.
However, JD.com did not disclose the exact amount of total or digital yuan transactions during the Festival. Chinese e-commerce platforms had a relatively quiet 618 session this year amid an economic slowdown.