Cambodia rolls out its central bank digital currency

In a bid to curb the spread of the COVID-19 through cash from one individual to another in Cambodia, the country has launched a digital currency backed by its central bank and is fully operational. 

The digital currency dubbed “Bakongwas launched at the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh with the National Bank of Cambodia being the brain behind the new currency. 

The digital currency was designed by Japanese blockchain-based financial startup Soramitsu Co but it was named after an old, popular temple in Cambodia.

Per the report, the CBDC will be adopted for transactions involving the country’s native currency riel and the dollar. Cambodians are required to install an app on their mobile devices to use the new currency.

Commenting on the development, the director-general at the National Bank Of Cambodia Chea Serey said.

I hope the official launch of Bakong system today will help to promote social welfare and also prevent the spread of that disease through facilitating e-payment from person to person seamlessly without involving cash.

Cambodia started the Bakong pilot project in July 2019. More than 20 financial institutions reportedly contributed to the experiment.

An official at the Association of Finance and Technology, Pen Chenda, acknowledged that the central bank digital currency “would particularly benefit small businesses due to costs and risks associated with handling cash.”

Smartphone users have been invited to download the e-currency app to use the new currency to transfer funds or pay for transactions. All they need do is to enter the target mobile number or scan the QR code. 

Meanwhile, Coinfomania reported earlier that the Bahamas launched its digital currency in December 2019 and will roll it out to surrounding islands later this year. 

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Author: Ruth Shadrac

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Author: Ruth Shadrac