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China Likely To Launch Digital Yuan In Time For 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing

There are indications that the digital yuan project in China is targeted to go live in time for the 2022 winter olympics to be held in the capital city of Beijing. As reported on Eastmoney, sources close to the project insist that there is still a long way to go before the full launch of the digital yuan. However, there is every likelihood that the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) will release the central bank digital currency (CBDC) before February 04 2022, which is the expected kick-off date for the Beijing olympics.

The above detail is in line with the report on state-owned television station CCTV as far back as April 2020 when the digital yuan project was just beginning to pick up momentum. Although there is yet to be an official timetable from the government of China on the project, the efforts being made in realizing the goal of the CBDC have been clear and obvious. 

So far, the pilot testing of the digital yuan has been completed in Shenzhen in what is agreed to have been a successful event. As at the time of writing, testing is ongoing in Suzhou, with reports of plans to also carry out a test in Beijing in the near future. If the prediction of implementing a fully launched digital yuan for the Beijing olympics becomes a reality, it is likely going to be the first CBDC to go live in the world. 

The Beijing 2022 olympics, like other olympics is going to be a multi-sport event that will draw athletes and tourists from all over the world to gather in the city between the 4th and 20th of February 2020. Among other aspects of the event, transaction volume within the city is expected to swell during this period. Therefore, the digital yuan, which is based on the blockchain would play a significant role in terms of improving the efficiency in the area of payment services, if implemented.

As the PBoC continues to work towards the building of a robust infrastructure for digital yuan implementation, Beijing 2022 could likely be the moment when this disruption becomes eventually effective. The service is expected to cater for both local transactions within the Chinese community as well as cross-border payments.

In 2022, Beijing will be hosting the olympics for the second time in its history, having hosted the summer olympics of 2008. Although there are ten other cities that have hosted the olympics twice, Beijing will be the first to ever host both the summer and winter olympics. In 2008, 6.8 million tickets were sold for the olympic games, with higher numbers being expected this time, especially with the success recorded so far in the fight against Covid-19.

With the ongoing trials and associated incentives in the digital yuan project, enough data is expected to be acquired and possible adjustments made ahead of the time for the 2022 Beijing olympics. Hotels, restaurants and sporting facilities are primary industries where the CBDC is likely going to be implemented. Eastmoney also reported that sources within the PBoC have stated that the test of the digital yuan is in “full swing” at olympic sites.

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