China’s Digital Yuan Remains A Curiosity


Since China unveiled the digital renminbi several years ago, it has been hyped as a juggernaut that would dethrone the dollar in the international financial system while relegating China’s domestic e-payments duopoly of Alipay and Tenpay to supporting roles. The digital yuan’s biggest boosters – usually not Chinese policymakers – made such predictions without offering compelling evidence to support their arguments.

With CBDC fever subsiding, the digital yuan no longer looks like such a game-changer. To be sure, it is being adopted domestically, but tellingly, more so in areas where the government has full control – like the salaries of civil service workers.

As a wholesale CBDC, the e-CNY may have a cross-border future – but that idea remains theoretical for now. The m-Bridge project that involves the PBOC, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Bank of Thailand and the UAE central…

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