The Olympic games are upon us and China’s digital yuan is increasingly in the news. This is all part of the PBOC’s “coming out party” for the digital yuan. An attempt to win technological gold for being the first major country to launch a CBDC.
It remains to be seen what the reaction to China’s new e-CNY will be, but some politicians have already advised athletes not to use the digital currency for fear of digital surveillance. These fears are unjustified as the devices that most athletes will use are not connected to mobile networks or WiFi!
Thank you to Eamon Barrett from Fortune for interviewing me!
“The Olympics has always been scheduled by the People’s Bank of China as the global coming out party for the digital yuan,” says Richard Turrin, author of Cashless: China’s Digital Currency Revolution. And even though COVID has put a damper on that party with a spectator ban, Turrin says, the PBOC will proceed with the digital yuan’s unveiling as planned.
In the U.S., three Republican senators warned last year that U.S. athletes should refuse to use the digital yuan during the Olympics, citing concerns that the e-CNY could expose their personal data to Beijing. However, Turrin dismisses this concern as simply “fear and loathing of China.”
“There are zero security risks to using China’s central bank digital currency, especially for those who use it in prepaid card format, which is not a connected device,” Turrin says. In the rest of China, e-CNY accounts are linked to smartphones, and users must download an app. But not, it seems, in the Olympic Village.
Link to article:
I was delighted to be picked up again in a second article:
“The Olympics has always been scheduled by the People’s Bank of China as the global coming-out party for the digital yuan,” says Richard Turrin, author of Cashless: China’s Digital Currency Revolution.