Digital Fiat for Lao, utilizing abundant hydro power the right way
The Bank of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (BOL) is exploring avenues to develop its own central bank digital currency (CBDC), reports Nikkei Asia. BOL’s CBDC plan is poised to enter a research study phase in partnership with a Japan-based fintech startup—Soramitsu. Blockchain finance specialist firm Soramitsu is also assisting Lao’s neighbour, Cambodia, for CBDC development.
Laos has just signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Soramitsu built Cambodia’s Bakong digital payment system for eliminating USD reliance. The Laos CBDC study with Soramitsu will gauge commercial banks, financial intermediaries’ role in digital currency development (e.g. financial inclusion).
Laotian kip’s digital version would enhance data gathering capacity of the Lao government. It would allow staying abreast with “the pulse of the economy.” Digital money would also assist in tracking money circulation, per Nikkei Asia.
Times of India reports, earlier in September, Laos legalized cryptocurrency trading and mining. The reason was to thwart the pandemic-induced economic slowdown and tackling the socioeconomic challenges.
Surplus hydroelectric power production by Laos validates crypto mining legalization and CBDC for the debt-struck economy, analysts opine. Government ministries shall now, in cooperation with the Bank of Laos and Electricité du Laos, do industrial regulation, per The Laotian Times.