22 Apr 2021 — Cambodia’s digital retail ecosystem, Bakong was crowned first in Asia and second globally in the PwC inaugural CBDC Global Index.
However, Bakong is not really a CBDC, according to the Director General at the National Bank of Cambodia, H.E. Serey Chea, let alone being in the race for the world’s first of its kind.
Cambodia has endured years of brutality, war and political upheaval. From the bombing of its central bank during the Khmer Rouge occupation to the introduction of US dollars by the United Nations during the withdrawal of Vietnam, such tumultuous events have given rise to many complications in establishing its own currency including the dollarisation of its economy and thus the nation is unable to exchange value efficiently or effectively.
Aside from its classification, what’s more important is Bakong, a fiat-backed digital currency was designed to solve this and provide instant and free P2P payments. It’s about her relentless pursuit of wanting to improve the lives of her countrymen, and helping the nation to regain its monetary sovereignty through this quasi-CBDC.
A dedicated mother and compassionate public service innovator, Chea embodies hope for socioeconomic inequality in the new era of Cambodia.
Excerpt from CoinDesk article by Leah Callon-Butler