China plans to carry out the trial of its Digital Currency Electronic Payment [DCEP] or digital Yuan in 2022 during the Winter Olympics. In fact, according to People’s Bank of China [PBoC] Governor Fan YiFei, it would be the next key trial for the digital currency, with the same expected to help the country continue to increase the scope of this trial.
While China prepares for the incoming sea of Olympic participants, the United States of America is not very thrilled with its citizens going to China and using their digital currency. As per reports, Republican senators Marsha Blackburn, Roger Wicker, and Cynthia Lummis recently urged the U.S. Olympic committee to forbid American athletes from using China’s digital currency citing espionage and data-security concerns.
The lawmakers wrote to the board chair of the U.S Olympic Committee Susanne Lyons and said,
“Olympic athletes should be aware that the digital yuan may be used to surveil Chinese citizens and those visiting China on an unprecedented scale, with the hopes that they will maintain digital yuan wallets on their smartphones and continue to use it upon return.”
Now, this might be a bit of a stretch, but is it?
To put things in perspective, the cold war between the United States and China is not a new thing. In fact, one of the reasons behind China launching its digital Yuan is to challenge the supremacy of the United States Dollar [USD]. What’s more, the development of this digital currency has garnered a lot of support at home too as 20.8 million individuals have opened virtual wallets until now, as reported by the People’s Bank of China [PBoC].
The whitepaper recently released by China also noted that overseas visitors will be granted access to China’s digital currency without the need to open a local bank account in Beijing during the 2022 Winter Olympics. With the PBOC confident in the use of its DCEP, Chinese officials today hit back at the aforementioned senators. In fact, a spokesperson asked the U.S. politicians to abide by the spirit stipulated in the Olympic Charter and not make “troubles out of the digital currency in China.”
During a press briefing on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian added that the United States should “figure out what digital currency really is.” He said,
“The U.S politicians should abide by the spirit stipulated in the Olympic Charter, stop making sports a political matter and stop making troubles out of the digital currency in China.”
Is the U.S. actually worried about espionage and data-security concerns or is it just another way for it to highlight only concerns when it came to digital currencies? We may not know the real reason behind it. However, as China moves towards another leg of trials, the U.S is still navigating murky regulatory waters. If the trial of the Chinese digital Yuan is successful, the U.S. may want to fast-track the development of its own digital dollar to compete with the digital yuan.
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