China is planning to trial the digital yuan with foreign athletes and visitors during the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.
Digital Yuan For Foreign Use
According to the deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) Li Bo, the 2022 Winter Olympics could mark the first time foreign users would test China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Bo, who spoke at a CNBC panel at the Boao Forum for Asia, said the central bank plans to make the digital yuan available to domestic users and international athletes and visitors.
He added that more use cases would be added to test the virtual asset in due time.
This is not the first time the bank is announcing trial plans for the digital yuan at the event. The PBoC first disclosed plans to test its digital yuan at the Olympics, last year. It had conducted requisite trials of its digital currency across Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiongan, and Chengdu at the time.
Digital Yuan Not Replacing U.S. Dollar
As China’s digital yuan race heats up, many world leaders are scared of the consequences. In the US, government officials are genuinely concerned about the potential implications of China’s CBDC program.
According to claims by these officials, China’s digital yuan could be the beginning of a long-term bid to replace the dollar as the world’s dominant reserve currency.
In response, Li Bo said the central bank was only focused on how the digital yuan could be used in the domestic economy, rather than reducing the country’s dependence on the U.S. dollar.
He emphasized that the digital yuan or e-CNY (electronic Chinese yuan) was not aimed at replacing the U.S. dollar’s dominance on the international market.
“For the internationalization of renminbi, we have said many times that it’s a natural process, and our goal is not to replace the U.S. dollar or any other international currency. I think our goal is to allow the market to choose and to facilitate international trade and investment,” he stated.
This is not the first time that Chinese authorities have denied claims that it is looking to replace the greenback or any other existing fiat currencies with the digital yuan.
Zhou Xiaochuan, president of the Chinese Finance Association and former PBoC governor, had previously said that the yuan is not like Diem and does not aim to replace existing currencies.
China is a frontrunner pushing for CBDCs. It launched its first domestic digital yuan tests in 2020 and went on to collaborate with other central banks in Hong Kong, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates for cross-border CBDC pilot tests.