Cambodia launches it Own ”Bakong” Digital Currency
The race to develop Central Bank Digital Currencies continues to heat up, and Cambodia is the latest to launch its digital currency. As per reports from Thai news outlet Bangkong Post, Cambodia launched its digital currency named ‘’Bakong’’ on Wednesday, October 28, 2020.
Digital Currency to be used via smartphones
Bakong was developed by the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) in collaboration with Japanese tech startup Soramitsu Co. The launch culminates the Digital currency developments, which began with pilot testing last year in July.
The central bank controls the master ledger, and commercial banks have nodes that have copies of the relevant data. So far, 18 financial institutions are involved in the project.
Bakong will support transactions in dollar and Riel, the national currency of Cambodia within the nation. Cambodia citizens will be able to make payments and transfer money using their smartphones. A mobile app has been developed that would be installed on smartphones so users can make payments from their e-wallets by scanning QR codes or tapping in phone numbers.
Cambodia, like most South-East Asian countries, has a problem with the financial inclusion of its population. Traditional banks are not readily located in remote regions of the nation. Therefore the launch of Bakong would reduce this problem as smartphones are used widely within the country.
Chea Serey, director-general of central banking at the National Bank of Cambodia, expressed her belief that the launch of the digital currency ‘’Bakong’’ would play a key role in preventing the spread of Covid-19.
“I hope the official launch of the 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,” she said.
More countries to launch CBDCs
Cambodia’s launch of its digital currency is the second to occur in recent weeks. Caribbean nation the Bahamas had launched its ‘’Sand Dollar’’ currency earlier in October.
Also, Switzerland recently announced its plans to launch a digital currency in collaboration with the Bank of Industrial Settlement. The development of CBDCs by Central Banks across the world shows blockchain technology in the financial sector.