According to Reuters, a top official from the Chinese central bank said China’s new digital currency, the e-CNY, is being used to make $315,000 or more in payments per day inside the “closed loop” at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Bloomberg quoted Qu Songming, a manager of the operations team of the Olympic Village in Beijing, saying, “The only payment methods are renminbi cash, Visa cards, and the digital yuan at all of the competition and non-competition venues during the Olympics.”
According to Cato Journal, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute stated that digital currency and electronic payment (DCEP) like e-CNY could create possible spying threats.
“It would also create unprecedented opportunities for surveillance … It is not far‐fetched that the Chinese party‐state will incentivise or even mandate that foreigners also use DC/EP for certain categories of cross‐border RMB transactions as a condition of accessing the Chinese marketplace.”
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida wrote to President Joe Biden last month, calling for necessary measures from the U.S. to ensure that all U.S. Olympic athletes are “sufficiently protected from Beijing’s surveillance and manipulation.”
Rubio raised his concerns over the Chinese regime’s digital currency, saying, “one particular concern is the CCP’s recent deployment of the so-called digital yuan. A digital currency aimed at challenging the U.S. dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency and which poses a tremendous security threat to individual users.”
One of Britain’s spy chiefs, Jeremy Fleming, also said in an interview with the Financial Times last December, “If wrongly implemented, it gives a hostile state the ability to surveil transactions. It gives them the ability to be able to exercise control over what is conducted on those digital currencies.”
Cornell economist Eswar Prasad warns in his new book, The Future of Money: How the Digital Revolution Is Transforming Currencies and Finance, “digital central bank money is only as strong and credible as the institution that issues it.”