Chinese local governments have started paying public employees in “digital yuan,” a move experts say leaves users open to surveillance and instant revocation of their funds if officials see fit.
Digital yuan is a virtual currency that people can load on their phones and use to buy groceries, ride public transportation and pay medical bills, but is only usable while connected to the internet – a major drawback in the eyes of many.
Civil servants and employees at state-owned enterprises in eastern China’s Jiangsu province will receive all of their May paycheck in the form of digital currency, authorities in Changshu city announced in a recent statement that was cited by several state-backed media organizations.
Authorities in the central city of Changsha have also started paying some police officers in digital yuan, to the tune of 47 million yuan, the Securities Times reported.
“The full payment of wages in Changsha using digital yuan this time is on a larger scale, which is an important step in promoting the implementation of digital…