Chinese financial services corporation, China UnionPay, which is similar to major card providers like Visa and Mastercard, has announced a partnership with South Korean payment provider Danal to launch a cryptocurrency-supporting digital card. Danal will offer its Paycoin cryptocurrency as an option on the new prepaid mobile card which will be accessible via Danal’s cryptocurrency wallet. The card which will be made available by the end of the year will be accepted at roughly 30 million UnionPay merchants across 179 countries and regions, including China, according to reports.
In addition to this, users will be able to top up the China UnionPay-Danal digital card using Paycoin as well as fiat currency.
Danal’s PayCoin (PCI) cryptocurrency is based on Hyperledger Fabric blockchain system – to create its own permissioned payments network. The crypto which has been in circulation since 2019 boasts 760,000 registered users, and reports to have been listed on exchanges such as UPbit, Huobi Korea, Liquid, Coinone among others.
However, PayCoin’s largest user base is in South Korea. This new partnership between China UnionPay and Danal could imply that South Koreans will be able to use the digital card when they travel to China which would enable them to spend PayCoin overseas, especially with lower foreign exchange fees.
Shanghai-based firm’s new partnership which will introduce a cryptocurrency solution comes despite China’s own ban on cryptocurrency, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and onshore crypto trading. Meanwhile, China made headlines recently with its news of testing its central bank-backed digital currency, the e-yuan. In fact, the Governor of the central bank of China, Yi Gang, revealed on 2 November that in its CBDC pilot program, the digital yuan has been used in over four million transactions totaling to more than 2 billion yuan (about $299 million) to date.