The People's Republic of China is determined to be the first country to not only create a digital version of its fiat currency but also to put it in widespread circulation. Although the Chinese central bank leads the project, quite a few commercial and investment banking firms have been brought in to help develop this ambitious project, which now also includes participation of major technology companies.

According to reports published by Chinese financial news media outlets, the latest private enterprises to join the digital yuan project are Meituan, a major provider of e-commerce services, and Billibillibilli, a popular video sharing network often referred to as the YouTube of China. These two companies will lend their expertise in digital payment systems and management of large-scale data networks; these are two technical aspects that will be crucial for the purpose of making the digital yuan a reality.

In addition to the two aforementioned companies, ByteDance is reportedly advising the People's Bank of China in the project, and it may become an official collaborator in the near future. ByteDance is better known for its TikTok social network, which has been facing controversy because of alleged espionage as well as ties to the Communist Party of China. Personal transportation service DiDi has also been involved in the digital yuan project on an advisory basis, but it may soon become a strategic partner.

China has emerged as the world's leading jurisdiction in terms of blockchain development, but financial regulators have decided to keep cryptocurrencies away through various prohibitions. Some financial technology analysts believe that cryptocurrency restrictions in China will gradually be eased once the digital yuan project matures to the stage of mass circulation. It is clear that Chinese officials did not want Bitcoin and other tokens to become too popular before they had a chance to launch the digital yuan, which will run on a centralized blockchain under government control.

Even though the digital yuan project is revolutionary, it will not be the first issuance of digital sovereign currency. The digital version of the Eastern Caribbean Dollar has already been going through a limited circulation test for a few months, and it is actively used for large bank transfers.