Pi Capital
Date of publication: 04 February 2020
Cambodia will release its own cryptocurrency this quarter
The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is preparing to issue its own digital currency based on the Bakong blockchain platform, which will be launched this quarter. NBC CEO Chea Serey this week told Phnom Penh Post that the Central Bank is developing a “national payment gateway for Cambodia” in the form of a blockchain-based P2P platform with its own specially developed cryptocurrency.
The digital currency of the Central Bank will operate on a closed system supported by banks. Phinom Penh Commercial Bank president Shin Chang Moo said Bakong is cheaper and more convenient than conventional payment methods like credit and debit cards. The bank plans to introduce the system in all branches.

“We are in the final stages of deployment. This took a little longer than expected, because we created the most useful and convenient system for users. We will offer the service as soon as it is launched, ”he said.

Chang Mu added that the probability of speculation with the cryptocurrency of the Central Bank is zero. Users will be able to set up a Bakong wallet, which will be automatically linked to their bank accounts, which will make it easy to exchange fiat currency for the Central Bank's cryptocurrency in real time. NBC says it will store all transaction data on the platform so that payments will be fully traceable.

Users will be able to use the cryptocurrency of the Central Bank for daily payments from their mobile devices. This initiative is expected to support the government’s commitment to implement QR transactions across the country.

Chea Serey noted that NBC plans to integrate cross-border payment mechanism into the Bakong platform, which already enjoys the support of 11 national banks. Other banks are expected to join in the near future.

“Bakong will play a major role in uniting all the players in Cambodia’s payment infrastructure under the auspices of one platform, which will allow end users to easily pay each other regardless of which bank they have an account with,” she said.

Makoto Takemiya, CEO of Soramitsu, a Japanese blockchain company that developed the Bakong system, called the Central Bank's cryptocurrency “a tokenized version of fiat currencies in NBC reserves.” Soramitsu is currently working on introducing similar systems to other countries in the world.

Recall that in October, the Central Bank of Cambodia signed an agreement with the Malaysian bank Maybank to determine how Bakong and Maybank2u digital payment platforms can work together to reduce remittance fees.

Alexey Shternshis
Pi Capital Union

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