Digital Currency -
Chinese Cyber
and Luxury Market

illustration of digital currency

Until recently, most countries, including the U.S., have been cautious about adopting emerging virtual currencies like bitcoin into their payment systems. However, the pandemic and the emergence of Generation Z customers, who expect seamless digital experiences, are accelerating e-commerce sales paid in digital currency. Amazon is already indirectly accepting bitcoin payments. Home products retailer Overstock.com accepts them, too, though product return values are based on dollars, with a potential risk or loss incurred when using currencies other than dollars . The luxury market alone is expected to earn 20% of its forecasted $91 billion in 2024 sales online and, according to eMarketer—a market research company that provides insights and trends related to digital marketing, media, and commerce—China is expected to contribute 52% of global online sales in 2021. To facilitate this trend, China is also testing the eCNY, a national cryptocurrency, in some markets and is aiming to make it available to visitors in 2022. Some 60 countries are studying cryptocurrency, and the U.S. Secretary of Finance is considering examining its implementation. Although the U.S. is behind other countries, this development is expected to fundamentally transform the structure of payment systems, planning, sales, operations, the supply chain, and more. Christine Pomeranz, professor and chair of International Trade and Marketing (ITM), is conducting research to examine China’s imminent implementation of the eCNY to gain a foothold in understanding the use of this new financial medium and its economic impact.

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