- Tunisia has become the first major country to launch a blockchain-powered national currency
- “E-dinar” will be launched in tandem with Russian fintech startup Universa
- The sentiments toward stablecoins are still mixed at best
In what comes as a major impetus for blockchain technology adoption, the Tunisian government – in partnership with Russia-based ICO startup Universa – has decided to move its national currency to a blockchain platform. This, according to a report by local media outlet Tass, November 7, 2019.
Tunisia Makes the First Move
The Central Bank of Tunisia has joined hands with a Russian fintech startup to digitize the national currency – Dinar. Per sources close to the matter, Tunisia’s lender of the last resort will be aided by Universa to issue and manage the country’s currency. This decision, notably, makes Tunisia the first major country in the world to go ahead with its plans of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC.)
The nation’s Central Bank stated that the process of digitization of the Tunisian dinar has already started and that the paper-backed CBDC will be issued on the Universa Blockchain.
With regard to the profit element of the deal, it has been reported that Universa will receive a percentage of all transactions carried out with the “e-dinar.” The said ledger will, at all times, be visible to the Tunisian Central Bank.
It’s also worth pointing out that while the e-dinar is a new-age digital iteration of a digital currency, it still cannot be called a cryptocurrency in the true essence of the term, noted Founder and CEO of Universa, Alexander Borodich.
The startup founder added that the issuance of the currency on a digital blockchain-enabled platform will also make the process of issuance of currency a cheaper and transparent affair. He said:
“Digital banknotes cannot be counterfeited — each banknote is protected by cryptography like its paper counterpart has its own digital watermarks. Furthermore, the production of such a banknote is 100 times cheaper than wasting ink, paper and electricity in the printing process.”
Elsewhere in Europe
To the north of Tunisia, in Europe, the attitude of regulators toward digital currencies has been mixed at best.
As reported by Blockchain Reporter on May 15, 2019, the director of the European Central Bank praised the utility of stablecoins saying that they “are promising than traditional cryptos.”
Interestingly, the above pro-crypto statement from the ECB Director came shortly after one of the bank’s policymakers had dubbed cryptocurrencies “complete nonsense.”