China is continuing its efforts to adopt the digital yuan (e-CNY). Only published on Monday People’s Bank of China (PBoC) a corresponding wallet in the iOS and Android App Store.
According to the Chinese local media BlockBeats the app is initially a pilot program, but it already enables basic functions. For example, users should be able to open an e-CNY wallet, store digital yuan and occasionally carry out transactions.
The download of the app is currently limited to eleven regions and cities: Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an, Chengdu, Shanghai, Hainan, Changsha, Xi’an, Qingdao, Dalian and the site of the Winter Olympics.
China prepares test phase for Winter Olympics
With the launch of the pilot app, the Chinese government is taking the final steps before the digital yuan is to be tested on a large scale at the Winter Olympics. The PBoC announced any plans as early as April. In addition to citizens of the People’s Republic, foreigners should also be able to take part in the test.
The latter circumstance caused concern, for example in the USA. In one Brief Several senators called on the US Olympic Committee (USOPC) in July of last year to ban US athletes from participating in the test phase. Bitcoin lawyer Cynthia Lummis was among the senators. More precisely it said:
The Olympic athletes should be aware that the digital yuan is being used to monitor Chinese citizens and visitors to China on an unprecedented scale …
Letter to USOPC on Digital Yuan 0716
At the beginning of December last year, the diplomatic boycott from the White House followed because of human rights violations in the Middle Kingdom.
However, China is unimpressed. Rather, more and more companies are being urged to adopt the CBDC.
e-CNY expands the social credit system
In addition, critics see the introduction of the digital yuan as a perfect complement to the so-called “social credit system” in China. This is a data-supported, digital rating system that classifies and rates citizens, companies and organizations. Bad behavior is sanctioned – good behavior benefits.
With the e-CNY, the Chinese government now has another tool in its hands to enforce sanctions against disobedient citizens. In April, the implementation of an “expiry system” caused a stir, allowing the PBoC to validate and devalue digital yuan at will. BTC-ECHO asked the Embassy of the People’s Republic to comment on this. However, the request remained unanswered at the time of going to press.
Has China Banned Bitcoin Mining Because of e-CNY?
Meanwhile, there is still uncertainty about the motives for the ban on Bitcoin mining in China. Meanwhile, seven theories are circulating within the crypto space that are supposed to explain Beijing’s rigorous approach. A mind game names the digital yuan as the main reason for the ban.
A representative of this theory is Lucas Nuzzi. on Twitter wrote the crypto journalist:
The CCP’s official Bitcoin ban in China comes as no surprise.
They are literally releasing their own coin (a CBDC) that will enable mass surveillance and bank account closure of those who think differently.
Lucas Nuzzi on Twitter
Bitcoin stood in the way of China because, as a decentralized currency, it simply does not allow the possibilities of “unbanking”, according to Nuzzi.
The ban on crypto trading in September last year could be seen as a further indication in this context. To what extent this reveals the motive behind the mining ban remains uncertain.
It is also unclear how the upcoming test phase at the Olympic Winter Games will go and whether international athletes will get involved in the payment experiment. In any case, the e-CNY is an Orwellian (nightmare) dream that will soon become a bitter reality for many Chinese.
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How China put “1984” into practice thanks to e-CNY