Laos enlisted Soramitsu, a blockchain company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, to explore a central-bank backed digital currency (CBDC). The Lao Central Bank and Soramitsu’s research will begin as early as this month.

Fast facts

  • The Central Bank of Laos reportedly has recently signed a memorandum with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to discuss the development of the digital currency.
  • Global fintech company Soramitsu had helped create the Bakong digital payment system, which is based on Soramitsu’s blockchain platform Hyperledger Iroha, for Cambodia.
  • Over 80% of central banks are exploring CBDC, according to a survey by the Bank for International Settlements, and five countries in Asia are in pilot stages. Thailand is progressing at the fastest pace in Southeast Asia and has entered the proof-of-concept stage, including testing cross-border CBDC transfers with Hong Kong, Mainland China, and the UAE beginning in February 2021.