In the “White Paper on China’s Digital RMB R&D Progress” (hereinafter referred to as the “White Paper”) released by the central bank this year, the digital RMB hard wallet is introduced as follows:
According to the carrier, digital renminbi can be divided into soft wallet and hard wallet. The soft wallet provides services for users based on mobile payment App, software development kit (SDK), application programming interface (API), etc., and the hard wallet implements digital renminbi based on technologies such as security chips. Related functions rely on IC cards, mobile terminals, wearable devices, Internet of Things devices, etc. to provide services to users. The combination of soft and hard wallets can enrich the wallet ecosystem and meet the needs of different groups of people.
The official definition of a hard wallet is a digital RMB payment based on a security chip. In fact, a hard wallet is also the key to achieving “dual offline” payments. The white paper does not introduce too much on the digital renminbi hard wallet and dual offline payment. It only means that it is cooperating with mobile phone manufacturers to study and provide new mobile payment experiences including dual offline transactions. Based on the smart visual card test, the hard wallet payment model separated from the mobile phone provides the possibility to bridge the “digital divide”.
The pilot slowed down and the hard wallet craze faded
In January this year, Postal Savings Bank tested a “visual card” based on a digital renminbi hard wallet in the staff canteen of Tongren Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, exposing the digital renminbi “card” form to the public for the first time. As a result, the prelude to the trial of the digital renminbi card-style “hard wallet” was opened.
On February 5, the ICBC digital renminbi visual card was unveiled at the Binshui gas station of Hunan Heshun Petroleum, becoming the second bank digital renminbi visual card to be publicly unveiled.
On February 8, the digital RMB hardware wallet in the form of “copper money” developed by the Hebei Xiong’an Branch of Agricultural Bank was unveiled in Xiong’an.
On February 14th, in the “Digital Wangfujing Ice and Snow Shopping Festival” Beijing digital renminbi pilot activity, the Postal Savings Bank of China launched a digital renminbi visual card and fingerprint card hardware wallet with superimposed “Healthbao” function after Shanghai Visual Card. .
Similarly, Bank of China has also launched a visual card equipped with the Beijing health code query function, and with the help of the Winter Olympics scene, Bank of China has also cooperated with China Unicom to launch a variety of hard wallets such as ski gloves, Winter Olympic badges, smart watches, etc. .
ICBC also launched a variety of hardware wallets in the Beijing digital renminbi pilot activities, including video cards, watch bracelets, power banks, elderly crutches, timers, elderly alarms, and so on.
With the advancement of the pilot program, a large wave of “hard wallets” in the form of cards and wearables have been unveiled, allowing many industry participants to see the vitality and setting off a new upsurge in the digital renminbi industry.
However, the enthusiasm gradually faded in the second half of this year. Since the second half of the year, pilots on digital renminbi hard wallets have gradually decreased, especially on card-type hard wallets. Without industry innovation, due to the single function and lack of scalability, operating agencies seem to be tired of propagating and piloting this. .
The dilemma and development of hard wallets
The development of digital renminbi hard wallets seems to have encountered a bottleneck. On the one hand, operating agencies cannot find more expandable pilot scenarios. On the other hand, the central bank has no rigid requirements for the pilot of hard wallets, resulting in a lack of enthusiasm for operating agencies.
In addition, unlike the public trial of soft wallets, hard wallets are still in the internal testing stage due to various problems, and ordinary users cannot really use and experience digital renminbi hard wallets, which also leads to limited feedback on the pilots of hard wallets.
The current dilemma of hard wallets is mainly in two aspects:
One is technical issues. At present, the storage space and chip computing power of digital renminbi hard wallets are limited. The accumulation of dual offline currency strings not only affects the number of offline transactions, but also affects the transaction speed. In some specific scenarios, various factors such as field strength, communications, and hardware will affect the transaction speed.
For example, in public transportation fields such as subways, the current requirement for the gate speed is within 300ms, and industry practitioners revealed to the mobile payment network that the current optimization speed of digital renminbi hard wallets can only reach about 700-800ms. This has greatly affected the expansion and application of hard wallets in traffic scenarios.
The second is the issue of standards. Standards and specifications will affect the realization of technology to a certain extent. According to the mobile payment network, the current digital renminbi hard wallet specifications are still being continuously updated, and this still requires the joint optimization of standard-setting institutions.
In general, most of the current digital renminbi hard wallet participants are still PBOC witnesses, mainly card vendors, chip vendors, and U-Key vendors. From the mobile payment network’s perspective, the development of digital renminbi hard wallets needs to be promoted by industry chain collaboration on the one hand, and on the other hand, more participants are needed to join in to help scenarios and applications.
Hard wallets should not be “stuck”
At the moment, when it comes to digital renminbi hard wallets, more people think of “cards”, cards with various functions and special-shaped cards, but in the view of mobile payment networks, digital renminbi hard wallets should not be “stuck”.
After the digital renminbi hard wallet returned to sight in the form of a “card”, some card vendors and chip vendors were positive and optimistic about this. In the “Digital RMB Development Research Report 2020” released by the mobile payment network, it is stated in the impact and prospects of the digital RMB industry that the digital RMB will cause a new round of upgrading and replacement of software and hardware equipment, and cards, wearables, etc. will go back to history old road.
The old way to go back is that whether it is a video card, a fingerprint card, a Bluetooth card, a special-shaped card, or a wearable, they are all products that have been launched by financial payment. An industry insider told the mobile payment network that most of the current digital renminbi hard wallet participants are still the former PBOC rule makers, and their thinking still does not seem to jump out of the category of bank “cards”. This needs to be changed.
Especially for card merchants, in the future implementation of digital renminbi, if they still only consider selling a few more “cards”, it is obviously not sustainable and creative. Therefore, for card merchants, they need to expand a complete set of solutions for different scenarios, from hard to soft services, such as digital renminbi IoT modules and solutions, school-enterprise park solutions, and so on.
In fact, digital renminbi hard wallet should not become a new hope for some companies, it is only part of the digital renminbi wallet ecosystem. The card is only a form of digital renminbi, which can exist alone, but it should also exist in combination with digital renminbi scenarios and solutions. As the white paper says, the combination of soft and hard wallets can enrich the wallet ecosystem and meet the needs of different groups of people.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/where-is-the-digital-rmb-hard-wallet-there-are-two-main-dilemmas/
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