Over $300,000 Worth of Digital Yuan Used Daily at the Olympics (Report)


Everyday transactions with China’s digital currency during the Beijing Olympic Games account for around 2 million yuan (approximately $315,000), a top official at the nation’s central bank said. He further revealed that foreign users employ hardware wallets when dealing with the product, while locals prefer software wallets.

Digital Yuan Transactions During The Games

China’s name pops up somewhat immediately when speaking of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Over the past several months, the most populated nation launched many initiatives to popularize its digital yuan among the broader society.

In April 2021, the authorities announced that athletes and foreign visitors at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will be able to employ the financial product. The sports event started earlier this month, and the officials already have data regarding the daily digital yuan transactions.

According to Mu Changchun – Director-General of the PBOC’s Digital Currency Research Institute – over $300,000 worth of e-CNY is used every day during the Games. However, he specified that it is difficult to provide exact numbers:

“I have a rough idea that (there are) several, or a couple of million RMB (yuan) of payments every day, but I don’t have exact numbers yet.”

Mu said that the CBDC is popular among foreign visitors, too. They prefer using hardware wallets, while Chinese residents favor software wallets.

It is worth noting that the e-CNY usage during the Olympics caused tension between China and the USA. Last year, the American Senators Marsha Blackburn, Roger Wicker, and Cynthia Lummis advised the US Olympic Committee to forbid any usage of the e-yuan at the Winter Olympic Games. The lawmakers expressed concerns over spying and espionage.

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Shortly after, the Chinese Foreign Ministry stroke back, requesting that Americans “abide by the spirit” and not make trouble out of the financial product. The officials went further, stating that the US is unaware of what digital currency is exactly.

Digital Yuan Payments on Singles Day

A few months ago, one of the leading Chinese e-commerce platforms – JD – enabled customers to use the e-CNY for settlements during the shopping festival Singles Day. As such, it became the first company to accept the product as a means of payment.

Singles Day is an unofficial holiday that celebrates people who are not in relationships. It is held on November 11 (the four “1’s” on the date 11.11 refer to those who don’t have love partners). Paradoxically, it has emerged as one of the largest shopping festivals in the country.

JD disclosed that more than 100,000 customers used the CBDC during the event.

Featured Image Courtesy of International Finance Magazine

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