“While the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan ‘study’ the mechanics of issuing a new form of cash, China has pulled ahead and has been testing its digital Yuan since April 2020.” – AsiaMoney
China comes at digital currency without the promise of anonymity but from the over-reaching surveillance of state-run accounts. Global chief investment officer at Deutsche Bank, Christian Nolting, wrote in a report on crypto-currencies published in April: China “could complement, or displace, increasingly widely used private-sector crypto-currencies.”
In other words, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, and Binance Coin, would remain fringe players while China’s Yuan dominates global currencies.
Former CIA analyst Yaya Fanusie, now a digital currency expert and an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, points to the recent example of Swedish fashion retailer as an example of how China might deal with those who step out of line. When H&M expressed concern over China’s use of forced labour in cotton production in the Xinjiang region, China pulled H&M products from their sites and mobile apps. NPR reported, “Two Chinese celebrities have already severed deals with the Swedish brand. Chinese state media outlets are now calling out other Western clothing brands — including Nike, New Balance and Burberry — for not using Xinjiang cotton. ‘Pure and flawless Xinjiang cotton cannot allow any forces to smear or blacken it,’ a Chinese commerce ministry spokesperson said.”
But former director of the digital currency institute at the People’s Bank of China, Yao Qian, claims surveillance is not the intent a digital Yuan. At the International Finance Forum in Beijing on May 30, Bloomberg news reported that Yao told a panel, “Helping the government see all transactions in real time was not the intention of the Chinese central bank.”
Still, data and information would be accessible in real time. Each transaction would reveal the location of the account holder and their purchase. We do not need a Jerry Jenkins / Tim Lahaye novel series to envision how this might play out on a world stage.