Cambodia’s digital currency reaches 5.9 million users

January 6, 2022

Cambodia’s CBDC ‘Bakong’ has almost reached half the population. The COVID-19 pandemic fueled its adoption even further with digital payments getting a boost. During the first half of 2021, Bakong users conducted around 1.4 million transactions amounting to $500 million, according to data cited by Nikkei Asia.

Bakong is pegged as the new backbone for the Cambodian Payments and settlement infrastructure. It supports transactions in Cambodian riel or the US dollar. So far, Bakong has worked seamlessly with Cambodia’s legacy payment solutions, like Acleda, FTB, Vattanac, and Wing, and has been adopted by 18 financial institutions.

The Bakong Core is powered by Hyperledger Iroha, a permission-based append-only distributed blockchain, which records all transactions inflexibly in a chronological chain of records stored in multiple nodes. Users looking to open a higher-limit account can register their government-issued ID at a bank branch, whereas those opening lower-limit accounts can do so via SMS verification. Unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, not every user on the blockchain gets full transparency. Instead, nodes are allowed to maintain central scrutiny.

Source: Nikkei Asia

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