Tunisia might just beat China to the punch.
If you thought the first digital currency launched by a central bank would be the digital dollar, the electronic euro or the Chinese cryptocurrency, you’d be wrong. Tunisia, it looks like, has surpassed the western and eastern superpowers, and is on the verge of issuing a digital currency backed by its native fiat – the Tunisian dinar.
According to TASS, the state-owned Russian news agency the Central Bank of Tunisia announced the “launch of work on the creation of a platform and digitalization of the Tunisian dinar.” The reason this news was disseminated by the Russian government’s news arm is because the virtual Tunisian dinar will be issued via a platform made by Universa Blockchain, a Russian blockchain company.
The report further suggested Universa Blockchain is a “technology exporter,” specifically IT solutions under Russia’s national project – International Cooperation and Export. For sovereign cooperation, Russia will “receive a percentage of electronic transaction,” although the report did not mention the amount or the nature of the”electronic transaction.”
In a bid to promote transparency, the Central Bank of Tunisia will also have access to every transaction detail. The report stated,
“The Central Bank of Tunisia announced the launch of work on the creation of a platform and digitalization of the Tunisian dinar. Virtual money will be issued using a platform created by Russian developers – Universa Blockchain.”
Countries are accelerating plans to issue their own digital currency, to thwart the threat of cryptocurrencies issued by large scale private players. Facebook sparked massive criticism from global regulators by launching Libra, a digital currency backed by five fiat currencies and short term government deposits.
Elvira Nabiullina, head of the Central Bank of Russia was vociferous in her opposition to private currencies.