Blockchain technology has attracted the attention of central bankers worldwide. In July 2019, with the help of technology firm Soramitsu, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) launched a new private-permissioned blockchain payment system called ‘Bakong’.
Since going live with a soft launch, the system has acquired 10,000 active end-users from 15 commercial banks. The system processes payments in digitised versions of both US dollar and Cambodian riel. “The central bank originally wanted to build a system that was more inclusive to the large unbanked and underbanked population, while simultaneously having better insight and monetary controls over the usage of USD,” says chief executive Makoto Takemiya.