Senator Pat Toomey wrote to U.S. Treasury Secretary and Secretary of State on Thursday, Feb. 3, a letter urging the Biden administration to pay close attention to the use of China’s recently launched digital currency during the Beijing Winter Olympics.
In the letter, Toomey expressed concern that the Chinese regime may use the global event of the Olympics to push its electronic currency known as the “digital renminbi” (e-CNY) to gain a global foothold.
He warned that the Chinese regime is struggling to take control of the initiative in setting standards for cross-border payments in digital currencies. China’s central bank hopes to get ahead of other countries in the race to develop a central bank digital currency.
Toomey asked the Treasury and State Departments to report back on the total issuance of the digital yuan during the 2022 Winter Olympics, the adoption rate of the digital yuan by foreign visitors compared to Chinese citizens, and the rollout of the digital yuan.
A spokesman for the U.S. Treasury Department declined to comment, and the State Department did not respond to a request for comment.
The trial version of the digital yuan wallet app has been available for download in China’s mobile app stores since January 4th.
The U.S. has yet to decide whether to develop a digital currency, and the Federal Reserve has pledged not to move on it without authorization from Congress.
On Thursday, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology unveiled long-awaited research and open-source code for the technology. These studies and codes can serve as the basis for the issuance of central bank digital currency in the future.