Japan’s Nikkei newspaper recently reported on the successful implementation by the National Bank of Cambodia of Bakong, the digital currency (named after a temple of the ancient Khmer Empire). It was launched in October of 2020 to help strengthen the Khmer riel and reduce dependence on the US dollar.
This plan has proven successful; there are currently over 200,000 users of the Bakong digital wallet, while more than 5.9 million users have benefitted indirectly through the use of online banking apps connected to the system.
According to Nikkei, more than 1.4 million Bakong transactions were recorded in the first half of 2021 alone, with a total value of around $500 million. This is proof that through a hybrid use of traditional electronic banking and the implementation of an innovative digital wallet, such as those used in decentralized finance, users of banks as well as underserved citizens stand to benefit.