The digital yuan is undergoing its final preparations in the leadup to the Beijing Winter Olympics, despite the expected absence of a general audience due to Covid-19 concerns. 

Fast facts

  • The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, said all payment channels for the 2022 Winter Olympics, including the digital yuan, are set to take stage, during a conference on Wednesday.
  • The Olympics, which open on Feb. 4, is expected to debut new hardware wallets, as well as ATMs, that allow overseas foreign athletes and travelers to convert various fiat to China’s digital currency. 
  • Since 2014 China has been developing the digital yuan, officially known as the e-CNY, which is touted as the most advanced central bank digital currency (CBDC) issued by a major world economy.
  • The Beijing Winter Olympics was supposed to be a high-profile showcase for the digital yuan by letting global audiences and athletes experience the new currency.
  • However, the Beijing Winter Olympics Committee announced on Monday that tickets will not be sold to the general public and only selected spectators will be invited to attend.