Cambodia Launches Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Dubbed "Bakong"


Cambodia has officially launched a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The e-money runs on blockchain technology designed by a Japanese company.

October 29, 2020 | AtoZ MarketsThe Central Bank of Cambodia has Wednesday launched its digital currency using the technology of Japanese companies. The blockchain-based central bank digital currency dubbed "Bakong" supports retail payments and interbank payments in Cambodia.

Bakong was named after a prominent ancient temple in the country.

National Bank of Cambodia launches CBDC

The National Bank of Cambodia has developed Bakong in collaboration with fintech company Soramitsu (Shibuya-ku, Tokyo). The CBDC has been in trial operation all over Cambodia since July 2019.

Bakong supports transactions in the dollar and riel, and allows users to make payments and transfer money using a mobile app installed on their smartphones. Transactions can be made from users’ e-wallets by scanning QR codes or inputting the recipient’s phone number.

Read also: What is Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)? Everything You Need to Know

The introduction of a safe and speedy digital currency payment system with no remittance fees was a major step for Cambodia, which is advancing the digitization of its financial base.

Currently, the penetration rate of smartphones is increasing. However, Cambodians are unable to access financial services such as bank account services. As a common social issue for Southeast Asian countries, Bakong is also one of the measures to strengthen financial inclusion in Cambodia.

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Soramitsu has participated in the development of the blockchain "Hyper Leisure Iroha". The Central Bank of Cambodia has determined that the technology is most suitable for the retail settlement part of Bakong and has been co-developing it with Soramitsu.

Read also: The Bahamas Launches Its CBDC Dubbed "Sand Dollar"

"We have been working hard with the National Bank of Cambodia for over three years to build solutions, and we are currently preparing the technology to expand into other countries and new markets," Makoto Takemiya, CEO of Soramitsu said.

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