The Central African Republic will start selling its cryptocurrency, Sango Coin, next week, saying it will be worth $21 million.
The announcement comes at a time when the crypto industry is experiencing a rout, and critics are skeptical about Sango Coin’s survival in a war-torn country with minimal connectivity, Reuters reported Friday (July 15).
Sango Coin is set to go on sale July 21, with minimum investments of $500, payable in cryptocurrencies, including ethereum and bitcoin, according to the report.
The Central African Republic was the first country in Africa, and the second worldwide, to make bitcoin an official currency, and President Faustin-Archange Touadera has said crypto can help bring about financial inclusion.
Read more: Despite Downturns, Central African Republic President Champions Crypto
Last month, Touadera spoke at a launch for the Sango crypto initiative, arguing that cryptocurrency is a good alternative to the cost of traditional bank accounts.
“The alternative to cash is cryptocurrency,” the president said. “For us, the formal economy is no longer an option.”
Six countries in central Africa use the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) and the Central African CFA franc as a currency. Two former Central African Republic prime ministers have spoken out against the country’s adoption of cryptocurrency without the OK of the central bank.
The first country to make cryptocurrency an official currency was El Salvador, although other countries have taken similar steps. Nigeria’s central bank has issued a digital currency known as the eNaira, designed to work on phones with SMS capabilities. Regulators in South Africa and Tanzania are exploring the possibility of adopting cryptocurrencies in their countries.
Meanwhile, authorities in the Philippines and Vietnam are examining central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), having selected Japanese blockchain firm Soramitsu to study the offerings.
See more: CBDC Weekly
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