Since its launch in October 2020, Cambodia’s central bank digital currency project, Bakong, has reached 5.9 million users across the country, according to a report by Nikkei Asia.

Fast facts

  • The figure includes users of member bank mobile apps, with the number of Bakong electronic wallet addresses doubling in June from three months before to 200,000. In the first half of the year, 1.4 million transactions were recorded on the network, with a value of US$500 million.
  • Bakong was introduced as a method of re-establishing the presence of Cambodia’s own currency, the riel, in the face of the widespread use of the U.S. dollar in the country. It is the world’s most advanced central bank digital currency project, and the only one in active use other than the Bahamas’ Sand Dollar – the world’s first CBDC project.
  • Cambodia’s SBI LY HOUR bank launched cross-border blockchain remittance services between Cambodia and Vietnam in May this year via RippleNet. Previously, bank customers in Cambodia had to wait several days to send funds in or out of the country, but the new system allows people to send money in real time.
  • Speaking at a panel discussion at a recent international blockchain forum in June, Serey Chea, assistant governor at the National Bank of Cambodia, said a digital currency that could be used for cross-border payments was “probably one of the most useful cases of digitalizing … currency.”