China is taking the lead in the global race to launch central bank digital currencies. In June, China distributed some $6.2 million worth of digital yuan to Beijing residents via a lottery, and the short-term goal is to have foreigners use the digital yuan at the Winter Olympics in 2022.
What’s at stake? Will the digital yuan challenge the global dominance of the U.S. dollar? How will central bank digital currencies change the global trade and payment systems? And with digital currency experiments across the country, how is China re-imagining its own financial infrastructure, and what happens to existing payment systems offered by Alibaba and Tencent? Are the country’s institutions and regulations ready to handle this innovation?
Lian CHENG is one of China’s leading thinkers on digital currency. He is Vice Director, Center of Financial Policy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and Head of the Department of Fundamental Research, Institute of Finance & Banking, CASS. He is also the Executive Deputy Editor-in-chief, Chinese Review of Financial Studies, one of the top Chinese academic journals in financial research. His academic interests focus on payment systems, Fintech, international monetary system and economic geography. His research has been published in China Economic Quarterly, Journal of World Economy, and other peer-reviewed institutions. Cheng’s research has been incorporated into government policy-making. Cheng received his Ph.D. in economics from the Graduate School of CASS.
Josh Lipsky is the director of the Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center. He previously served as a senior advisor at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Speechwriter to Christine Lagarde. Prior to joining the IMF, Lipsky was an appointee at the State Department, serving as Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, and worked in the White House, focusing on G-20 and other global summits. Lipsky is a term-member at the Council on Foreign Relations and an Economic Diplomacy Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He is a licensed attorney, with a J.D. from Georgetown University Law School, a Master’s degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a B.A. from Columbia University.
Peter Reisman is a Managing Director and the Chief Communications Officer at Bank of China U.S.A., where he leads a group focusing on government and public relations, business development, marketing, and corporate social responsibility. Reisman has 30 years of experience working with Chinese private and government entities advising on cross-border investments and bilateral trade with the United States, China and Israel. Reisman was the first American to graduate with a Masters in Law from Peking University Law School. He later went on to obtain J.D. and LL.M. degrees from Columbia Law School. Reisman has worked at Cravath, Swaine, & Moore LLP in both New York and Hong Kong, before spending six years in Israel working for the government in both a legal and advisory capacity focusing on issues relating to China and other countries in the Asia Pacific region. He subsequently joined Island Capital Group as Senior Vice President in the capital markets group and later co-founded, and became the CEO of C-Bridge Capital Partners. In that capacity he used his extensive personal network and experience in advising Chinese, American and Israeli clients on cross-border investment opportunities. Reisman is fluent in Mandarin and Hebrew, and is a member of the National Committee on U.S. – China Relations and the advisory board for AJC’s Asia Pacific Institute. He also serves as Co-Chair of the Government and Public Relations Committee for the China General Chamber of Commerce- U.S.A.