Three Republican United States Senators have expressed their concerns that China will use its central bank digital currency (CBDC) to spy on American athletes at the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Senators Marsha Blackburn, Cynthia Lummis, and Roger Wicker sent a joint letter to the USOPC on Monday about their concerns about espionage and data security.
China could use the digital yuan for surveillance.
The GOP senators warned that the Chinese Communist Party not only could use its national digital currency (DC/EP) for surveillance but that they already are. The letter requests that a briefing with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation be conducted within a month. Earlier in June, Senator Tom Cotton (Rep-Ark) sent a letter to President Biden stating his deep concern that China would try and collect the DNA of Team USA during the Beijing Games. Republican senators are of the opinion that the committee should forbid American athletes from receiving or using the CBDC during their time competing in the Winter Games.
Chinese digital yuan as a tool of mass surveillance
Republican senators fear that the digital yuan is fully under the control of the People’s Republic of China and can be tracked and traced. The fear is not unfounded as China has a history of surveilling its people. Several from the crypto community have shared a similar opinion that China could use digital as a mass surveillance tool and track people’s financial activity. According to the letter sent to USOPC, “Olympic athletes should be aware that the digital yuan may be used to surveil Chinese citizens and those visiting China on an unprecedented scale, with the hopes that they will maintain digital yuan wallets on their smartphones and continue to use it upon return.”