A robust foundation of digital currency expertise
Over the past several years, SORAMITSU has established itself as a leader in the digital currency space. In cooperation with the National Bank of Cambodia, SORAMITSU designed and built Bakong
, a blockchain-based digital currency and payments infrastructure that enables instant wholesale and retail transactions. Piloted in 2019, and officially launched in 2020, Bakong was the first system of its kind to be brought live. As of November 2021, payment rails linked by Bakong were in use by nearly 8 million Cambodians, and over 270,000 previously unbanked or underbanked users had created Bakong wallets directly via a mobile app designed by SORAMITSU and the NBC.
Bakong aids financial inclusion by enabling anyone with a Cambodian phone number to make instant, secure payments and remittances at no cost. Recently, the National Bank of Cambodia and Maybank have demonstrated the cross-border utility of digital currencies by making Bakong available
to Cambodian workers in Malaysia, at a fraction of the cost of traditional remittances. A similar service
may soon become available in Thailand.
Since its launch, Bakong has been recognised with a number of awards: a 2020 FinTech & RegTech Global Award
and a 2021 Japan Financial Innovation Award
for SORAMITSU, as well as a 2021 Nikkei Superior Products and Services Award
for the system itself.
Based on this experience, SORAMITSU was recently selected
by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Chairman: Shinichi Kitaoka; hereinafter referred to as JICA) to conduct a feasibility study on central bank digital currency in Laos. In close cooperation with JICA and the Bank of the Lao P.D.R., SORAMITSU will assess financial infrastructure in Laos and the potential of digital currency (CBDC) from the perspectives of inclusion, efficiency, security, and resilience. SORAMITSU will furthermore investigate the suitability of various CBDC models and implementations, drawing on lessons learned in Cambodia, as well as experience gained as a finalist
in the Monetary Authority of Singapore's recent Global CBDC Challenge.