Cambodia to launch blockchain-based transaction system

by Blocks99

8 months ago

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has announced plans to launch a blockchain-based transaction system. NBC likens the project to a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Dubbed Project Bakong, the blockchain-based transaction system will enable peer-to-peer (P2P) payment and money transfer. NBC Director-General Chea Serey says will be operational within the present fiscal quarter. Bakong, essentially a quasi-form of CBDC, was launched on a trial basis in July 2019.

Bakong has the support of 11 banks, with many more expected to join soon, Serey says. She has described the system as “the national payment gateway for Cambodia.”

“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. Eventually, we hope to allow cross-border payment through the Bakong system too,” she told The Phnom Penh Post newspaper.

No speculation with Bakong

Phnom Penh Commercial Bank (PPCBank) president Shin Chang Moo says the bank is deploying the system at all branches. “We are in the final stages of the deployment. It has taken a little longer than expected because we were ensuring that the system is as useful and convenient for the users as possible. We will offer the service as soon as it launches,” he said. He added that Bakong is cheaper and more convenient than conventional payment and transfer methods such as credit and debit cards or mobile platforms.

Unlike most cryptocurrencies, which are decentralised, Bakong is a closed system backed by banking authorities. “There is zero possibility of speculation using Bakong,” Chang Moo said.

The Bakong wallet is linked to users’ bank accounts, allowing exchange with fiat currency. All the transactions will be done on a real-time basis with the records stored at NBC. The Bakong Project is designed to set a national standard for QR code usage, which can be integrated into equivalent systems across ASEAN nations.

(Source: The Phnom Penh Post)

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