A senior Bank of Japan (BOJ) official downplayed the potential for China’s digital yuan to threaten the US dollar’s position as the world’s main reserve currency. “The dollar’s status as the key global currency won’t change so easily,” said Kazushige Kamiyama, head of the BOJ’s payment systems department and the person in charge of looking into a virtual Japanese currency. “In fact, the dollar’s advantage may strengthen further if the US goes with digitalisation.” A report earlier this week showed the Biden administration is increasing its scrutiny of China’s progress toward a digital yuan amid concern it could kick off a long-term bid to displace the US dollar. What is China’s sovereign digital currency? The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has moved closer to becoming the first major central bank to launch a virtual currency, rolling out trials for consumers and businesses in cities across the country. The PBOC has been working on a digital currency since 2014 and its moves have heightened interest among central banks and policymakers, while the spread of cryptocurrencies has added to a sense that competitors to regular cash could change how the financial sector operates. Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the use of cashless payments, even in Japan where banknotes and coins are still used in a majority of transactions. No single digital currency from a central bank is likely to conquer the world as long as everyone continues to work on improving their settlement systems Kazushige Kamiyama The BOJ started the first phase of its own technical experiments on digital currencies last week and is taking part in group studies on them with the Bank for International Settlements and six major central banks including the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. The group in October said the introduction of digital currencies should not undermine the stability of the current financial system. “No single digital currency from a central bank is likely to conquer the world as long as everyone continues to work on improving their settlement systems,” Kamiyama said.