Georgia’s central bank is pushing ahead with its digital currency project. Monetary authorities are preparing to launch CBDC early next year and plan to use the blockchain-based version of the national Fiat, the Georgian lorry, to facilitate retail.
Georgia to launch digital lorry in 2022
The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) intends to run its own digital currency in a program scheduled for next year, Vice President Papuna Lejava revealed this week. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, a senior official commented that 85% of the world’s central banks are already working on state-issued digital currencies. Lezava was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying:
Some are in the research phase, some are testing, some have already implemented it, including China and the Bahamas. We also want to be at the forefront of this trend.
The banker further explained that a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is not a cryptocurrency but an “evolution of cash”. Still, the digital Georgian lorry is going to be based on the same technology that decentralized digital money, the blockchain. However, lorry coins will not be mined or subject to market speculation, Lezava noted.
NBG will be the sole provider of Georgia’s sovereign digital currency, the bank’s representative stressed. Despite its differences from cryptocurrencies, digital lorries will be able to compete with them for the convenience of various services. In the early stages of introduction, the Tbilisi government plans to use it in retail, for example.
Georgian digital currency will be faster, cheaper than the traditional payment method
Officials behind the CBDC project believe the new currency will help improve the efficiency of the country’s payment system and improve financial inclusion in Georgia. The financial authorities hope that this will become a faster and cheaper means of payment than the conventional method.
The digital lorry will also operate around the clock and will not require an internet connection for its transactions, Papuna Lejava added. He highlighted “the main advantage of it” – Georgian digital currency will be open and compatible with cash and other technologies in contrast to the current payment system.
In May of this year, Georgia’s National Bank called on fintech companies, financial institutions and technology companies to support efforts to create a national digital currency. Interested parties were invited to join a public-private partnership to facilitate the adoption of digital lorries in the country’s economy.
The US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Russia are among the dozens of financial authorities around the world working to develop and issue the CBDC. The People’s Bank of China is arguably the most advanced project, with numerous tests of the digital yuan already underway across the country.
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