US senators have called on Olympic officials to prohibit US athletes from using the digital yuan during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Republican senators Marsha Blackburn, Roger Wicker and Cynthia Lummis have lodged a formal letter to the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee asking its chair, Susanne Lyons, to issue a prohibition on the use of the digital yuan.
According to the senators, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the currency can be “tracked and traced”.
The letter comes as the US and other countries around the world have accused China of hacking Microsoft and other high-profile tech companies.
The senators argued that the Chinese government has already been using payment methods, such as WeChat, to “harass and arrest” citizens, and the digital yuan would be a continuation of that.
In light of this, the legislators have urged the Committee to take the necessary steps towards protecting the privacy of American athletes.
The digital yuan has been a long-disputed financial mechanism. However, some proponents of the currency have cited it as proof that China is winning the blockchain and crypto race.
US officials have been more skeptical. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) commissioner Hester Peirce and SEC chair Gary Gensler have both argued that while the currency claims to be “anonymous” it's far from that and should not be considered a true threat to the US dollar.
The digital yuan is one of the most ambitious central bank digital currencies worldwide and one of the first mass attempts to introduce digital money based on blockchain technology.