The People's Bank of China has been working on a digital version of the yuan for years. The central bank has said it’s still studying the benefits and risks of issuing a virtual currency.
Phillip Gillespie, chief executive of B2C2 Japan, worries that Chinese officials may ban some existing cryptocurrencies, like Tether, which work similarly to the digital yuan. Tether is pegged to the US dollar, and is used to store money and move funds worldwide.
If China bans Tether, Gillespie and others suspect that "there’s going to be massive panic selling."