The British Intelligence Agency has red-flagged the use of Chinese digital currency Renminbi as a tool for global currency transactions. The digital renminbi that Beijing vigorously promoted before the Winter Olympics may become surveillance users and control users, the agency indicated raising security concerns.
Jeremy Fleming, the Director of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) of the British Intelligence Agency, warned that although digital currencies provide a huge amount of money for the mass payment system Opportunities, but this new technological development also brings threats. “If implemented by mistake, it will give hostile countries the possibility of monitoring digital currency transactions. This gives them the ability to be able to exercise control over digital currency operations.” Fleming said. He said that Communist China is now the “biggest strategic problem” facing the UK and that Beijing is expanding espionage activities and seeking control over the digital infrastructure.
“China has seized the opportunity and it has made a lot of investment openly and secretly and has begun to exert a real influence on the rules of operation in the technological and digital context,” Fleming explained.
He said that if other countries collect a large amount of data on British citizens, including work, shopping, social and travel information, it will be deeply intrusive and may lead to sovereign erosion.
Earlier in December, Richard Moore, the Director of MI6, stated that Beijing is exporting technology to give it an opportunity to build an authoritarian control network around the world. He accused Beijing of drawing other countries into a “data trap.”
Digital currency may be such a trap. According to the People’s Bank of China, the Central Bank of the Communist Party of China, 140 million individuals and companies have signed up to use the digital renminbi.
“In the context of the upcoming Olympic Games, China is taking every opportunity to promote their digital currency. They hope that foreign tourists can use a digital currency like domestic tourists.” Fleming said.
The National Cyber Security Center under GCHQ will release a new cyber strategy document later this month. As wars increasingly enter cyberspace, the cyber strategic plan aims to plan a blueprint for the future against digital threats. Fleming said that GCHQ is a “poacher and gatekeeper” in this area, responsible for protecting the country from attacks and taking offensive actions against competitors.
In the past, the United Kingdom publicly accused Russia and China of hacking operations supported by countries such as Russia and China. Earlier, three US Republican Senators urged the US Olympic Organizing Committee to ban US athletes from using China’s new digital currency during the Beijing Winter Olympics.