Cambodia To Launch Digital Currency-Based National Payment Platform
Jan 30, 2020

The National Bank of Cambodia, the country’s central bank, is preparing the launch of a blockchain-based, peer-to-peer payment and money transfer platform in the coming months as “the national payment gateway for Cambodia,” the institution’s director-general Chea Serey said.

Trial runs are already underway since last year for the digital currency which will likely be introduced under the name “Bakong.” According to the Phnom Penh Post, the project has already the support of 11 domestic banks, and more are expected to join soon.

Serey said the system will use QR codes which would make money transfers faster, easier and more secure and would also increase financial inclusion of large parts of the unbanked or underbanked population. Apart from that, payments will be cheaper and more convenient as compared to conventional payment and transfer methods such as bank or ATM transfers, credit and debit cards and even as mobile transfers.

“Bakong will play a central role in bringing all players in the payment space in Cambodia under the same platform, making it easy for end-users to pay each other regardless of the institutions they bank with,” he said, adding that Bakong as a “national cryptocurrency” will eventually allow cross border payments too.

The Bakong will use a digital wallet which is linked to users’ bank accounts, and all the transactions will be done on a real-time basis with the records stored safely at the central bank. Unlike most cryptocurrencies, which are decentralised, Bakong is a closed system backed by central bank which rules out speculation or criminal activities and gives the central bank control over money flows.