One of China’s largest smartphone manufacturers, Honor, has released the first device to support a hardware wallet for the country’s digital yuan, the company said in a press release on 13 August.
According to the announcement, Honor’s Magic 3 series will be the first Snapdragon-powered smartphones to support a hardware wallet for the People’s Bank of China’s (PBoC) CBDC project. The company also claimed that unlike soft wallets such as apps, its hardware version will be able to provide its users with a “financial payment-level security protection”.
Honor was created as an offshoot of Chinese smartphone giant Huawei back in 2013, and was marketed as a budget smartphone brand — with its products selling for between $150 and $220 — which helped it secure more than 200 million users. Huawei, however, sold the brand back in November 2020 in order to spare it from U.S. sanctions. The Magic 3 series are Honor’s first flagship smartphones released after it became a separate company from Huawei.
China remains the most likely global power to first release a widely used digital form of its national currency. The country’s central bank, the PBoC, has been ramping up its CBDC trials since last year, and finally in March opened its digital yuan trials to the public. Back in July, the central bank released a digital yuan “Progress of Research & Development” paper, which claimed that the CBDC has already been used on over 70 million transactions with a total value of around $5 billion