US athletes could be banned from trying out digital yuan at 2022 Olympics

US athletes could be banned from trying out digital yuan at 2022 Olympics

A trio of Republican senators has called on the US Olympic Committee to prohibit American athletes from using China's nascent digital currency at the 2022 Games in Beijing.

China plans to use the Olympics as a test-bed for seeding its new digital yuan by allowing overseas vistors to transact with the currency without needing to open a local bank account.

In an open letter, senators Marsha Blackburn, Roger Wicker, and Cynthia Lummis, raised the spectre of digital surveillance, rather than the currency's potential to challenge the US dollar as a global reserve currency.

“Olympic athletes should be aware that the digital yuan may be used to surveil Chinese citizens and those visiting China on an unprecedented scale, with the hopes that they will maintain digital yuan wallets on their smartphones and continue to use it upon return,” the lawmakers wrote.

Across China, more than 20.8 million individuals have opened a virtual wallet, through a series of ongoing trials, spending 34.5 billion yuan through 70.8 million transactions.