During the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, the China’s central bank is looking to enable foreign athletes and visitors to use the country’s digital currency, Yuan.
The upcoming Winter Olympics could potentially become the first test of China’s central bank digital currency, or CBDC, by foreign user according to Li Bo, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China.
e-CNY will be made available not only to domestic users, but also to international athletes and visitors in the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, according to LI Bo at a CNBC panel. Though this is the second time the bank us announcing to test the digital yuan, the first was in 2020, August.
The official said that the PBoC doesn’t intend to replace the U.S. dollar’s dominance as the world’s reserve currency. Li reportedly noted that the central bank is focused on the domestic use of the digital yuan.
“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.
Despite the PBoC’s focus on the domestic digital yuan, China’s central bank is still exploring cross-border CBDC use. “At the same time, working with our international partners. Hopefully, in the long term, we have a cross border solution as well,” Li said. At the forum, Li also said that China’s central bank now views the major cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) as an “investment alternative.”
After launching its first domestic digital yuan tests in 2020, China started cross-border CBDC pilots in collaboration with central banks in Hong Kong, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates in February. On April 1, the director of the PBoC’s research bureau, Wang Xin, announced that China’s central bank completed the first cross-border pilots of the digital yuan with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.