The government of Laos has partnered with Soramitsu distributed ledger technology (DLT) firm to research a potential Laotian central bank digital currency (CBDC).
This comes amid the rising interest by governments around the world to launch CBDCs to counter the influence of cryptocurrencies. Several other countries including China, United States, United Kingdom, Israel, Thailand, Japan, and Nigeria among others have made public their interest in CBDCs.
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China for example has already started conducting trials about its digital Yuan coin.
Laos CBDC research project to begin this month
The research project about the Laotian CBDC is expected to kick off this month.
Besides Laos partnering with Soramitsu, the central bank of Laos also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to study CBDC development.
The research is expected to evaluate how banks and other financial institutions that shall act as intermediaries shall interact in fostering the transactions involving the Laotian CBDC among the public.
There are speculations that a CBDC would provide Laotian policymakers with better economic data and could also allow for cross-border CBDC-based payments with its Neighbor China, which is also its largest trading partner.
On September 11, Laos approved a pilot program experimenting on crypto mining to capitalize on the latest crypto-mining crackdown in China that saw almost all crypto miners exit the Chinese market. In relation to that, six companies, among them banks and construction companies, have been granted permission to mine crypto assets.
There is also a lot of work going into drafting regulations to govern the use of digital assets in Laos.
Soramitsu helped in building Cambodia’s Bakong digital payment system
Soramitsu is remembered for working with Cambodia to build the Bakong digital payment system, whose app has been downloaded over 200,000 times since it was launched in 2020.
The Bakong digital payment system is distributed ledger technology (DLT) that was developed to help Cambodia reduce its reliance on the US dollar for its domestic transactions.
Currently, the system is supported by about 2,000 stores in Cambodia.
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