Senegal To Introduce A New Blockchain Based National Digital Currency
Senegal has recently become only the second country in the world which will introduce a new national digital currency. Named eCFA, the digital currecy will be blockchain based and will be legal tender just as their current currency, CFA Franc, is.
Senegal’s eCFA comes from a partnership by Banque Régionale de Marchés (BRM) and eCurrency Mint Limited. BRM will issue the digital tender currency, the eCFA, in compliance with e-money regulations of Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO), the Central Bank of West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU).
Interesting enough, the only other country in the world with a national digital currency is also African, Tunisia. In late 2015 Tunisia became the first country in the world to offer its national currency to be transmitted through cryptocurrency based blockchain. This was made possible through a partnership that was lead by Monetas.
The introduction of eCFA, Senegal’s new national digital currency, further shows how Afrika is fertile ground for testing and deploying new FinTech solutions. Some might say that it all started with M-Pesa in Kenya in 2007 followed by many others including BitPesa who use Bitcoin for their remittance solution across four Afrikan countries.
Given that eCFA involves WAEMU, it has been announced that the eCFA will not only be rolled out in Senegal but will be (after Senegal) extended in a second phase to Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Togo and Guinea-Bissau.
Although the eCFA is reported to be secure it has received some criticism from some quarters with pointing out that it still relies on the central banking system.
The other interesting point to observe is how both Tunisia and Senegal’s digital currencies use the blockchain as part of their technology but don’t use BitCoin as a currency.
Read more at iAfrikan