With its recent hiring splurge, China has maintained its lead in the crypto race

Despite worldwide boycotts, China's e-CNY got a chilly welcome during the Beijing Winter Olympics, when the country's CBDC was soft-launched. Having said that, it appears that China is just just getting started in this field.

Keep your Chin-a raised.

This is according to a report from South China Morning Post. The central bank's Digital Currency Research Institute was rushing to hire blockchain specialists and other tech experts at high prices to make the e-CNY trial reach more people.

While mining Bitcoin and trading NFTs might be against the law in China, the country isn't giving up on blockchain technology and clearly has big plans. SCMP said that there were a lot of jobs available.

Reuters said that e-cumulative CNY's transaction value was close to $10 billion at the last count. This means that adoption rates need to be taken with a grain of salt. More than 2.5 million people have already downloaded the e-CNY wallet, and 10 cities are part of a pilot project.

USA, do something.

Meanwhile, in the United States, officials are talking about a theory. Jerome Powell, the head of the Federal Reserve, told us what a potential American CBDC would need to do. User privacy, being "identity verifiable," being a part of intermediary institutions, and being widely used for payments were some of the things people thought about.

Powell's comments came at the same time that finance and military experts were worried that Russia might be able to get around economic sanctions by using the e-CNY instead.

However, the South China Morning Post said that e-CNY adoption was still behind payment apps like Alipay and WeChat Pay, which people use to pay. At the last count, there were less than 300 million users and the e-CNY was still in a pilot phase. This shows that the CBDC has a long way to go. It's very unlikely that the e-CNY will support international adoption at the highest levels of government, and even more unlikely that it will do so during a hugely unpopular war.

Eyes are on you

One country that may not be ready to ignore the e-CNY may be Japan, though. Hiromi Yamaoka, who used to work for the Bank of Japan, said:

“There’s a chance a country like China could promote usage of digital yuan for cross-border transactions and create a currency bloc.”

The Bank of Japan also said that it is going to start Phase 2 of its CBDC Proof of Concept to see how the currency works in a crisis.

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