Sen. Toomey Sounds Warning About China’s Digital Yuan as Olympics Start

The country is using the Winter Olympics in Beijing as an international test of its central bank digital currency (CBDC).

AccessTimeIconFeb 4, 2022 at 5:08 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:20 p.m. UTC

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), a ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, warned of the impact of China’s digital yuan on U.S. economic and national security interests in a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday.

  • "Analysts have raised the eCNY's potential to subvert U.S. sanctions, facilitate illicit money flows, enhance China's surveillance capabilities and provide Beijing with 'first mover' advantages such as setting standards in cross-border digital payments," Toomey wrote.
  • China is using the Winter Olympics in Beijing as an international test of its digital yuan, which it has been testing in the country since 2019. In Olympic Village, athletes and visitors can make purchases only with cash, a Visa card or the digital yuan, Toomey noted.
  • Toomey added, however, that China’s crackdown on private cryptocurrencies gave a potential opening for the U.S.
  • "China's crackdown presents an opportunity for the United States to be the forerunner of crypto innovation, grounded in individual freedom, and other American and democratic principles," he wrote.
  • Toomey has asked the Treasury and State departments to scrutinize Beijing’s digital yuan rollout during the Olympics and provide a full briefing by March 7.


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