China is pioneering the creation of a central bank digital currency that is likely to be the first of its kind. If China succeeds in implementing a digital renminbi, it could generate significant economic and political dividends for Beijing, at home and abroad.
There are nearly as many currencies in use around the world as there are countries, but only a handful of currencies are widely used outside of their home economies. While China has found some initial success at internationalizing the renminbi, it faces an uphill battle in shaking up the global currency hierarchy.
States can leverage their currency to boost exports and expand their influence in international financial markets. Chinese leaders exercise considerable autonomy over the value of the RMB, yet critics have taken issue with how Beijing uses its monetary policies to promote its interests.