China is now looking for an aggressive digital yuan push right before the winter olympics. The national soverign digital currency whose development was completed in 2019 is currently being widely tested across various provinces in China before the official launch. The latest report from Financial Times noted that the Chinese government has asked fast-food giant McDonald’s to expand digital yuan use across its chain.
Digital yuan is currently being accepted as payment across 270 outlets across China, however, the report suggests the Chinese authorities want the fast-food outlet to increase digital yuan acceptance along with the likes of other retail giants such as VISA and Nike. One of the spokespeople for McDonald’s in China said,
“Shanghai is our pilot city and we will learn from customers’ response.”
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Is China Planning Official Digital Yuan Launch by Winter Olympics
China is currently at the forefront 0f CBDC development compared against nearly 180 other countries working towards their own soverign digital currency. The reason for its advancement in the field could be attributed to an early start. China ordered the development of the digital yuan back in 2014 and it was finally completed after five years. While speculations about a possible official launch have been rife since the last quarter of 2019, the latest push before the Winter Olympics indicates a possible launch before the games.
A majority of the other nations working towards their CBDC are years behind, but most recently France tested the use of CBDC in government bond settlements and carried out nearly 500 operations during the trial. South Korea and Russia have stated that the pilot programs for their CBDC would begin by early 2022, while the United States is still in the pre-development phase.
Many believe the most recent crackdown and crypto ban imposed by the Chinese Central Bank was done keeping the launch of the digital yuan in mind. Given the governance in China, the government doesn’t recognize any private digital assets as a form of currency or exchange.