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As China readies for world debut of e-CNY, could this country be its first remittance partner

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If there’s one country that started off 2022 with a lot of energy and a packed calendar, it was none other than China. After all, as the Beijing Winter Olympics draw closer, so does the launch day of the country’s CBDC.

Sprinting to the finish line

China isn’t holding back when it comes to publicizing its progress with the e-CNY. A report by China Daily, a newspaper aligned with the Chinese Communist Party, noted,

“In the shorter term, the digital yuan will be a practical reality for those attending the Winter Games. They will be able to use their digital wallets and coupons to pay for transportation, goods and food from local as well as foreign-owned retailers.”

It then added,

“The authorities are reported to be encouraging foreign-owned companies to accept digital yuan payments during the Games…”

The article also spent some time delving into the USA’s seeming lack of progress with its own CBDC. What’s more, the piece also suggested that the CBDC could help China’s currency compete with the dollar.

Conversations with friends

Adding to this, the state-controlled news publication Xinhua announced another update for crypto watchers to note. In the last days of 2021, Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng interacted with Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat to discuss COVID-19 responses and bilateral ties.

A Chinese version of the meeting report noted that digital technology collaboration was one subject of discussion. Furthermore, the article cited a hypothetical blockchain-based payment system between the two nations.

A rough translation of the report stated,

“For example, digital trade initiatives that employ blockchain solutions will enable faster and safer cross-border transactions and lower costs for businesses with operations in both countries, as well as create new services in the digital economy.”

However, it’s important to wait for a confirmation from Singapore before assuming that any fintech agreements are in the pipeline.

Singapore, set, go!

According to one central bank authority, Singapore is rearing to jump into the crypto economy. The managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Ravi Menon, assured Bloomberg of the same in November 2021. He promised,

“If and when a crypto economy takes off in a way, we want to be one of the leading players.”

If the blockchain-based remittance system between China and Singapore does take off, perhaps this process might start on a bilateral level, rather than growing from decentralized crypto.

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Sahana is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. She has a Masters in Journalism and her areas of study include crypto-regulation, digital society, privacy, and intersectionality. Ask her about film photography and philately.