Cambodia, a Southeast Asian nation with 15 million people, is the latest country to show interest in launching a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), i.e. a cryptocurrency managed by the government.
Specifically, the National Bank of Cambodia has undertaken Project Bakong, a blockchain-based peer to peer payment and money transfer system that will launch in Q1 of this year.
Apparently Project Bakong already launched in a trial phase starting in July 2019, and the trial has apparently gone well so the CBDC will be operational nationwide sometime in the next few months.
One of the major benefits of this Cambodian CBDC is that citizens will be able to send payments to each other regardless of which bank they use, and 11 banks are already onboard. Also, the crypto wallet will be directly attached to an individual’s bank account, facilitating easy transfer between the CBDC and hard currency.
Further, it is expected that using the digital currency will be cheaper and faster than conventional methods like credit cards. Therefore, this new CBDC could potentially be a boon for the Cambodian economy.
Cambodia is just one of many nations which have showed interest in operating a CBDC, although it appears Cambodia is further along in the development process than most other countries.