Cambodia’s central bank: Bakong blockchain payments may help de-dollarization – Ledger Insights

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A surge in customers of Cambodia’s blockchain fee system, Bakong, would possibly assist tackle dollarization within the nation, mentioned Chea Serey, Assistant Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC).

Talking to Nikkei Asia this month, Serey mentioned that Bakong would encourage using the native foreign money, with the aim being doe Cambodia to “wean off” its dependence on the U.S. greenback.

Whereas typically portrayed as central financial institution digital foreign money (CBDC) for Cambodia, the principle thrust of Bakong is a cell funds system that helps each U.S. {dollars} and riel. The hope is it’ll promote native foreign money utilization.

Progress on Bakong

From its inception, a significant purpose for launching Bakong was to advertise financial inclusion. As a lot as 78% of the inhabitants is unbanked. With excessive cell penetration within the nation, Bakong doesn’t require a checking account for cell funds. Empowering the inhabitants with a way to pay digitally will support financial progress.


The usage of the Bakong has steadily been rising. Between April and June, customers doubled to achieve 200,000. Whereas that’s the variety of pockets house owners, these customers can probably ship funds to five.9 million individuals moderately than solely these with wallets. It’s unclear what quantity of funds had been in native foreign money.

Developed by Japanese blockchain agency Soramitsu and launched in October 2020, Bakong is the one dwell central financial institution blockchain funds mission except for the Bahamas’ Sand Greenback, a CBDC. For the primary half of 2021, Bakong recorded a complete of 1.4 million transactions, with a worth of $500 million.


The opposite key aim of Bakong is to de-dollarize the Cambodian financial system. Management of the cash provide would allow the central financial institution to decrease rates of interest and create cash.

De-dollarization stays an necessary focus for the Cambodian central financial institution. As of April 21, solely 8.6% of Cambodian deposits had been held within the Cambodian riel. A central financial institution report additionally discovered that the riel had depreciated in opposition to the U.S. greenback in April 2021.

Though digital use of the riel has elevated since Bakong’s launch, Serey additionally careworn that Bakong alone is not going to allow Cambodia to shift from a U.S. dollar-based financial system to 1 primarily based on its native foreign money. “There are different insurance policies that have to be in place, like having a secure change fee and inflation fee, in addition to [economic] progress prospects,” she mentioned.

In the meantime, different nations have been selecting up the tempo on their CBDC analysis, with India and Nigeria hoping to pilot their CBDCs quickly. The Central Financial institution of Eire’s Governor additionally wrote final month concerning the promise of a digital euro, stating that it was a matter of “when” not “if”.

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