Rwanda’s Central Bank aims to issue official digital currency

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Hot on the heels of the announcement that the Peoples Bank of China (PBoC) is almost ready to launch an official digital currency, the Rwandan government is reportedly looking into also creating an official cryptocurrency for Rwanda.

Bloomberg published the news on 22nd August saying, “The National Bank of Rwanda plans to learn from the experiences of central banks such as Canada, Singapore and the Netherlands, which have tested the use of blockchain technology.”

Financial Stability Director-General Peace Masozera Uwase said in an interview in the capital, Kigali, said, “There are still concerns about how exactly you convert the entire currency into digital form, how to distribute that and how fast can you process those transactions. Challenges come in, if technology is down how do you deal with such issues? “We will join in once we are ready.”

The central bank is said to be interested in offering digital currency as a means to increase transaction efficiency and foster economic growth.

Rwanda is not the only country studying the prospect of a national digital currency. As reported by Cointelegraph, the International Monetary Fund wrote in June that Uruguay has begun a pilot program for a central bank digital currency — with the Bahamas, China, Sweden, Ukraine and the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union said to be “on the verge” of launching their own tests.

In the case of China, some sources believe that it is the prospect of Facebook’s Libra that spurred the Chinese government into action, although the PBoC had already completed five years of research before Libra was announced. Nevertheless, it would appear that China is speeding up the launch date in a bid to pre-empt the launch of Libra and the potential effects the stablecoin might have in the Chinese market.

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