The National Bank of Cambodia has officially launched a new payment system based on distributed ledger technology (DLT), according to Reuters.
The bank developed the system, which is based on Hyperledger Iroha, along with Japan-based blockchain firm Soramitsu as part of an initiative called Project Bakong.
At a conference earlier this year, Chea Serey, director-general of central banking at the National Bank of Cambodia, described the platform as a “payment backbone” as opposed to a central bank digital currency. She also described two goals for the project: to give Cambodia's migrant workers a better way to send money home and to encourage more use of the local currency, the riel.
In Cambodia, more than 90% of the economy is based on the U.S. dollar.
To use the system, people will have to register with one of the participating institutions — around 20 banks in Cambodia have participated in the project — which entails submitting a government ID and a phone number.
Speaking Wednesday at an official launch event, Serey also said she hoped Bakong would “promote social welfare and also prevent the spread of disease through facilitating e-payment from person to person seamlessly without involving cash,” reports The Bangkok Post.