Rwanda’s Central Bank Eyes Digital Currency and Blockchain

Rwanda, one of the fastest-growing economies in the African region, is looking at how it can benefit from central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC) and blockchain technology. 

According to a Bloomberg report today, the Rwandan Central Bank has commenced its research on how it could issue its own digital currency to boost transaction processing as well as economic growth. 

In an interview at the country’s capital, the Financial Stability Director-General Peace Masozera Uwase noted that Rwanda would join other countries in the use of a national digital currency after adequate research has been done to solve the concerns surrounding the use of digital currencies. 

“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 the technology is down, how do you deal with such issues? We will join in once we are ready,” Uwase.

Rwanda plans to learn from the experiences of other central banks in advanced countries that have tested digital currency and the blockchain such as Singapore, Canada, and the Netherlands. 

A successful implementation of a CBDC will place Rwanda as the third African country to launch a national digital currency with the early adopters being Tunisia and Senegal. 

In 2015, the Tunisian government issued its own blockchain-powered digital currency dubbed “eDinar” also known as Digicash and BitDinar. 

Similarly, in December 2016, Senegal followed suit by launching its CBDC called the eCFA, named after the country’s fiat currency CFA Franc. The eCFA was designed to facilitate transactions between the central bank and other authorized financial institutions in Senegal. 

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