China's central bank says digital currency could be used in 2022 Winter Olympics

The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the country’s central bank, has said that its digital currency could be used in the 2022 Winter Olympics event.

Chinese state-owned television network CCTV reported the news on Sunday, citing a “relevant person in charge” of the Digital Currency Research Institute of the PBOC. The 2022 Olympics event is scheduled to take place in Beijing.

The mention of the event hints at the launch schedule of digital currency, possibly by mid-2021. The central bank is yet to officially provide a timetable for the rollout of digital yuan. 

The relevant person also confirmed that some state-owned banks are conducting internal tests of digital currency in four cities - Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong'an New Area and Chengdu.

Last week, the Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China appeared to have released mobile test apps that support the PBOC’s digital currency.

The PBOC person further confirmed that the current research and development of digital yuan is steadily advancing. They also said that internal tests would not affect commercial operations of banks, yuan issuance and circulation system and financial markets.

Last week, reports emerged that Suzhou municipal government employees would be receiving 50% of their May transportation subsidies in digital yuan. Another report from China Daily today said that digital currency will be based on blockchain and a traditional centralized structure of the money mechanism.