In Cambodia, almost 80% of its citizens do not have a bank account, yet more than 50% don’t own a smartphone. The Khmer riel has been stable for 20 years but however, most people in the country use the US dollar.

National Bank of Cambodia, partnered with Tokyo-based Soramitsu, a blockchain developer expert, to modernize the country’s legacy retail payments with the help of the Hyperledger Iroha blockchain framework.

The NBC set out to see if a digital payments system could handle transactions faster and for a lower cost than the existing system. Moreover, could it promote the wider use of the riel? And could that system run as a mobile app?


The project, called Bakong, is a first step that created a fiat-backed digital currency. Bakong is said to be the first retail payments system in the world using blockchain technology. Individuals can now transfer money and buy from merchants with a simple smartphone app. Merchants gain a fast, cashless, and secure payments system. And banks can do interbank transfers at a much lower cost.

Development of blockchain technology in Cambodia, and all South-Asia is really fascinating phenomenon. We are curious what we can expect in next years.

Source: IBS Intelligence

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