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Enter the E-Yuan

China’s Digital Currency Gambit Intensifies Privacy Fears Amid Challenge to US Dollar

By Charles McDermid

China is racing to roll out a government-backed digital currency, aiming to compete with rising Fintech stars, expand the state’s mass surveillance — and potentially dethrone the U.S. dollar as the king of global currencies for the first time since World War II.

The launch of the electronic yuan — known officially as the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) or more generally as a central bank digital currency (CBDC) — went into its second phase this month.

Global media cited the move as China’s goal to have the cyberpayment technology in place for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and Hebei province in northern China. 

In the shorter term, however, state banks promoted the e-yuan ahead of a national shopping festival Wednesday.