Blockchain News

China to Showcase Digital Yuan at Summer World University Games

China’s digital yuan, the central bank digital currency (CBDC), is set to make its debut on the international sports stage at the Summer World University Games in Chengdu. According to the Chinese media outlet The Cover, this event will be the first major international sports competition to officially use the digital yuan since the Beijing Winter Olympics.

The Summer World University Games, held biannually, brings together university students from across the globe to compete in various sports disciplines, including athletics, rowing, swimming, gymnastics, and tennis. The organizers have successfully developed public digital yuan wallets for the event’s Executive Committee, marking a significant milestone in the adoption of the CBDC.

Furthermore, the organizers have made progress in integrating the digital yuan into event-related scenarios, such as catering, medical care, and transportation. These efforts aim to showcase the versatility and practicality of the digital currency in real-world settings. The games, taking place from July 28 to August 8, will unfold across different locations in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, and nearby Jianyang County, attracting participation from 34 nations.

To kick off the event, a torch relay was initiated from Peking University, symbolizing the unity and spirit of the games. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), a state-owned commercial bank, serves as the official partner of the Summer World University Games. Notably, ICBC was among the first Chinese banks to introduce a digital yuan wallet in 2020.

While it remains unclear if athletes will receive digital yuan hard wallets like at the Beijing Winter Olympics, where they were issued as a means of payment, preparations are underway to maximize the digital yuan’s utilization at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, scheduled for September. Commemorative, wearable digital yuan hard wallets with a games-themed design have already been created for the opening ceremony, adding a unique touch to the event.

In anticipation of international spectators, public transport networks in and around Hangzhou have been upgraded to accept digital yuan payments, facilitating seamless transactions during the games. Chinese financial sector authorities aspire to showcase the digital yuan’s capabilities on a larger scale at the Asian Games, promoting its advantages and potential to a global audience.

Originally slated for 2021, the Summer World University Games had to be postponed due to the pandemic and scheduling conflicts with other Olympic events. Despite the delay, the event will retain the name “Chengdu 2021” as a nod to its original designation. Notably, a planned event in Yekaterinburg, Russia, was canceled by the International University Sports Federation due to the outbreak of war in Ukraine and subsequent challenges.

With the inclusion of the digital yuan in prestigious international sports events like the Summer World University Games and the forthcoming Asian Games, China aims to highlight the digital currency’s functionality, convenience, and potential for widespread adoption. These initiatives serve as crucial milestones in the global acceptance and integration of central bank digital currencies.

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