CBDC Trumps Visa for Payment at the Winter Olympics in China
With the Winter Olympics underway in the capital city of China, a relatively unexpected development has come across concerning the use of currency.
Unlike previous years where Visa was the only dominating payment method due to Olympic’s contractual exclusivity, this year a new form of payment is HODLing the line.
E-CNY Takes the Gold!
According to a report from Wall Street Journal, means of transaction around the Olympic games have observed a shift with China’s CBDC taking the lead. The country has been pushing its central bank digital currency towards the citizens of the country in order to expand its reach.
Up until the beginning of this month, over 261 million individuals had signed up for digital yuan wallets. The wallet was launched earlier in January for Android and Apple app stores has managed to onboard about one-fifth of the entire population of China in less than a month.
The increased use of e-CNY in the Olympics is also credited to the fear of Covid-19. Other than Visa, cash and digital yuan are the only other options for payment within the quarantine bubble.
Plus People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has already set up multiple ATMs which can enable individuals to exchange their fiat currency into e-CNY, which is being preferred to maintain minimal human contact.
As for those outside the bubble, retailers already allow for transactions using the CBDC which is also gaining a lot of traction.
Since Visa has contractual exclusivity of being the only available payment method within the Olympics, the likes of Alipay and other cards are not allowed to be used for transactions. Regardless China’s assertion of CBDCs has led to the latter taking over the former.
China Gears Up
The country is consistently pushing boundaries in order to make its CBDC a successful replacement for the existing fiat in circulation. Recently they even began testing the e-CNY for international individuals who arrived for the Winter Olympics.
But while the country continues to develop and further its use of digital currency, other cryptocurrencies are also picking up some heat thanks to the Olympic hype. A token called FLOW witnessed an over 50% spike in its price after the game received an official license to showcase the games at the Winter Olympics.