No more China’s digital Yuan at Beijing Winter Olympics, a trio of U.S. senators proposed

Bitcoin proponent and freshman U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), along with Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) today sent an open letter to the chair of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee requesting that it forbid American athletes from receiving or using digital yuan during the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. It was originally scheduled for February 2022.

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An open letter to the chair of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee

US lawmakers don’t want Olympic athletes to use digital yuan at 2022 games

Chinese officials say the digital yuan could be rolled out for wider use during the Winter Olympics, based on months of testing that have grown in scope across an array of cities in the country. Plans for e-CNY continue to be public amid those tests, including support for smart contracts. China’s move to embrace digital currency has turned the US Congress hall, with the project seen as a source of competition between the Chinese and US governments. Indeed, the e-CNY project has also fueled political calls for a digital dollar.

But now, a trio of U.S. senators said that American participants in Beijing Winter Olympics, set for 2022, shouldn’t use China’s digital yuan. Addressed to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, the letter opens:

“We write to express our concerns with the communist Chinese government’s plans to officially launch the Digital Currency Electronic Payment, commonly referred to as the digital yuan, prior to the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. Specifically, we urge the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to forbid American athletes from receiving or using digital yuan during the Beijing Olympics.”

They added:

“The digital yuan may be used to surveil Chinese citizens and those visiting China on an unprecedented scale.”

The reason they give is that it is entirely controlled by the PBOC, and can be tracked and traced by the central bank. All three claim that the Chinese Communist Party can use digital currency to survey visiting athletes and when they return to the United States.

Moreover, it has been in operation since 2014 but only recently has the Chinese government announced its key features. In it giving officials the ability to know the exact details of what someone purchased and where. They cited the messaging and payment app WeChat as precedent, claiming the platform was already being used to surveil, threatening, and arresting Chinese citizens.

The group is seeking a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation briefing on the topic, and said its request is aimed at protecting the privacy of American athletes from the Chinese Communist Government.

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