The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing are expected to be more than just a sports event: Around this same time, predictions are that it will also introduce the world to the digital Yuan or e-CNY. This digital coin is a so-called Central Bank Digital Currency, or CBDC: A virtual currency created and issued by a central bank. What differs crypto and CBDC is that cryptocurrencies are decentralized, with prices of crypto like Bitcoin and Ethereum being linked to fiat currency like the U.S. dollar. CBDC, however, can be the fiat currency, potentially becoming a digital version of cash money issued by the same central bank. This makes CBDC drastically different from digital payment services - AliPay or PayPal - as well as privately created coins - Bitcoin or Facebook’s Diem. It can also have significant consequences, as some fiat currencies were more common in foreign exchange reserves than others. Why, then, are central banks investigating these currencies, and how a far along is this development?
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