On Jan. 1, 2021 the lottery officially opened, allowing the city’s residents to register through the “i Shenzhen” platform to be included in the draw.
According to Coindesk, the lottery is planned to test China’s in-development central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the hands of the public.
A total of 100,000 red envelopes will be distributed, with winners to be awarded 200 digital yuan each to spend from Jan. 7 until Jan. 17 at about 10,000 physical merchants.
Red envelopes are a usual way of gifting cash in China on special holidays or occasions like weddings.
The nation is accelerating its push toward the adoption of a digital currency. The People’s Bank of China has been working with banks and commercial entities on public pilots in order to gauge user experience.
In October 2020, Shenzhen held a similar lottery, handing out a total of 10 million digital yuan (worth around $1.5 million) to winners.
In the city of Suzhou in December, residents also participated in another lottery-based trial, giving them the opportunity to spend their digital yuan online and testing the offline payments feature of the digital currency.