Cambodia Unveils a New Bank-Issued Cryptocurrency Called Bakong

Cambodia is another country that is heavily reliant on the U.S. dollar. Tired of its dependence on USD, the country has launched a centralized, bank-issued cryptocurrency, hoping that people will begin to utilize it for payment purposes, and thus far, the results have been rather positive.

Cambodia Has Unveiled an Official CBDC

As it turns out, El Salvador – which has been in the news quite a bit as of late – is not the only country out there that depends heavily on USD to operate and run its economy. Cambodia is another one, but things are moving in a different direction in the Asian state. El Salvador, for example, made headlines not too long ago when it decided to make bitcoin legal tender for the country.

While the nation has not fully turned its back on USD just yet, El Salvador has permitted residents to pay for goods and services with the world’s number one digital currency by market cap, a decision that has been controversial to say the least. Institutions such as the World Bank refused to offer help with El Salvador’s bitcoin agenda, claiming that making BTC legal tender was a risky and dangerous thing to do given the asset’s volatility.

In addition, while claiming there were positives to the maneuver, Bank of America was also quick to dismiss El Salvador’s decision as “risky.”

Cambodia has decided not to move forward in making BTC legal money for citizens of the country. Rather, regulators are hoping its new CBDC (central bank digital currency) will make some headway in the coming months and years. Known as Bakong, the currency already has just under six million users, which is rather solid considering it is barely a year old.

Things really picked up in 2020 when the coronavirus was running rampant throughout the country. This is when the asset picked up most of its users, though things continued to improve into 2021. Thus far, Bakong has been used in more than one million separate transactions, which amount to more than $500 million spent per data from Nikkei Asia.

It’s Following in the Footsteps of Other Countries

This is not the first time a country has rolled out an official cryptocurrency for its people. China was arguably the first, unveiling the digital yuan back in 2019. After a pilot program that saw it used amongst various fast-food stores and retail outlets, the currency was provided to a small group of individuals that were part of a second testing phase. The asset is now being prepped for general rollout.

What’s even more impressive about Cambodia’s situation, however, is that the country boasts a population of approximately 17 million people. Thus, the number of individuals using the Bakong is equivalent to about one-third of the nation’s population, thereby suggesting that the asset has indeed come quite far in a short period.

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