Tunisia Presents e-Dinar as the Race for State-Backed Digital Currencies Intensifies

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

11 November 2019,
16:20
Tunisia Presents e-Dinar as the Race for State-Backed Digital Currencies Intensifies

China is working on digital currency. The Eastern Caribbean central bank has given its backing for one and Turkey wants to finish testing theirs by the end of 2020.

Well, Tunisia will not be left behind and according to a report by TASS, has become the latest sovereign nation to start working on a blockchain-based digital currency backed by a central bank. 

Popularly known as central-banked backed digital currency (CBDC) Tunisia unveiled last week, the e-Dinar (a digital version of the country’s fiat currency, Dinar). 

The Tunisian government had collaborated with Russia-based digitization firm, Universa Blockchain, and reportedly revealed at the project's unveiling that the new digital money would be backed one-to-one by the fiat currency. In other words, the digital currency will always be redeemable upon request for the fiat version and vice versa. 

The fact that it would be issued using blockchain technology means that the e-Dinar shares at least one feature of cryptocurrencies (transparency) although this does not put it in the same bracket as Bitcoin and the others. 

Alexander Borodich, founder and CEO of Universa sought to clarify that essential fact in the report, and also highlighted while a blockchain-based Dinar is a significant upgrade on the paper version. 

He said:

Electronic banknotes cannot be faked – each such banknote, like the paper version, is protected by cryptography, it, like the paper counterpart, has its own digital watermarks. And the production of such a banknote is 100 times cheaper than wasting ink, paper, electricity for the printing press.

He also hinted that they are in talks with other central banks regarding the deployment of digital currency, notably naming Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania as countries that could follow the steps of Tunisia in the future. 

Meanwhile, it is still unclear at this point when Tunisia will begin to allow citizens to get their hands on the new e-Dinar with the report only confirming that Tunisia has 'transferred part of the country's money supply to electronic form.'

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