China’s government will for the first time allow foreign nationals to use its central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as the digital yuan, or e-CNY. Athletes and visitors present in Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics will be able to use the currency before the event begins, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, January 11.
According to the information, the People’s Bank of China (BPC) seeks to test how receptive foreigners are to adopting the digital yuan, after countries such as the US, Japan, Australia, Great Britain and Canada announced that they would not send government representatives as part of their delegations to the sporting event. These countries affirmed that the diplomatic boycott responds to the violations of rights in the Asian country.
The report notes that “China would be looking to use games to show the influence of the digital yuan globally.” The Chinese issuing entity proposed from the beginning of 2021, that the winter Olympics become the propitious scenario to promote the massive use of its official digital currency, as reported by CriptoNoticias at the time.
Likewise, Chinese government spokespersons have expressed for more than 2 years the intention that their digital currency compete with the US dollar as an international unit of account. This goal would justify decisions such as illegalization of any activity related to Bitcoin, which would force the exclusive use of e-CNY as a digital currency, at least within Chinese territory.
In these weeks prior to the Olympic Winter Games, scheduled for February 4 to 20, non-residents will be able to choose between downloading an application or purchasing a physical card to manage digital yuan. In addition, they will have the option of using ATMs enabled to exchange foreign currency for ee-CNY.