The African nation of Tunisia is set to become the first country to digitize its national currency to a Blockchain platform. The digital version of the national currency is all the handy work of the country’s central bank. According to Russian news agency Tass, Tunisia’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) will be managed and issued in conjunction with Russian ICO startup, Universa.
The central bank of Tunisia announced that the digitization of the national currency has officially begun and that the paper backed CBDC will be issued on the Universa Blockchain. Universa will also reportedly be receiving a percentage of all transactions carried out with the new “e-dinar”, while the ledger will be visible to the country’s central bank.
Though Universa is thrilled with this partnership and arrangement, its founder and CEO Alexander Borodich does not consider the e-dinar as a true crypto-currency. This is not just his opinion, but is founded on what crypto has been defined to be; a decentralized and independent digital token. Tunisia’s CBDC or e-dinar will be state-owned and backed by paper money, which is against the spirit of cryptocurrencies and explains Borodich’s stance.
Alexander Borodich may not consider the e-dinar as a true crypto-currency, but he has a positive outlook on what the Blockchain can do for the currency. He said that the Blockchain will not only protect the currency from counterfeiting but will also make issuance cheaper and more transparent. Borodich 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.”
The currency will therefore not need to issue a new currency to curb counterfeiting like it has been seen in other parts of the world. Instead, part of its reserves will simply be moved to the platform. Citizens will then be able to exchange their physical money for e-dinars. Alexander Borodich’s Universa is no stranger to Tunisia. Universa also signed a partnership with the Tunisian government to have its internet agency sign a strategic partnership to host services for the startup. If this Tunisian effort materializes, then it will be a first on the African continent and will set the pace for other African nations who might be eying a similar move.