China does not expect significant impact on its monetary system if the digital dollar were introduced, said Mu Changchun, director-general of the People’s Bank of China Digital Currency Initiative on Wednesday. He spoke at a panel organized by the Atlantic Council think tank to support the release of the International Monetary Fund’s report on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
- “We have already developed the mBridge project [a multilateral CBDC platform that supports instant cross-border payment in multiple currencies and multiple jurisdictions].… At the same time we have strict capital management matters in place. With that measure of support, we don’t expect significant dollarization impact,” Mu said after he was asked whether China is worried about a potential U.S. digital dollar.
- Mu’s rare public remarks coincided with the ongoing Beijing Winter Olympics, through which China is showcasing its CBDC to a global audience of athletes and diplomats.
- As legal tender in China, the e-CNY is one of only two forms of payment — the other is the credit card of Olympic Games sponsor Visa — accepted at the Olympics venues, Mu pointed out.
- Currently being pilot-tested, China’s e-CNY is widely expected to fully launch this year and become the world’s first major central bank digital currency.
- Nearly 100 countries are exploring CBDCs, according to the Atlantic Council’s CBDC Tracker, but the U.S. is the furthest behind of the Big Four central banks, including those of the E.U., Japan and the U.K.