Cryptocurrencies are the solution to tackle financial exclusion in the Central African Republic, President Faustin-Archange Touadera said Sunday, citing the cost of opening bank accounts.
“The alternative to cash is cryptocurrency,” Touadera said at a launch event for crypto initiative Sango hosted by the country after it became the first African state to make bitcoin legal tender in April. “For us, the formal economy is no longer an option.”
The move to cryptocurrencies in a country where internet usage is low and electricity unreliable has raised eyebrows among crypto experts, lawmakers and residents alike, and has prompted warning from the International Monetary Fund.
The Sango project, which includes a “Sango coin”, was supported by the National Assembly of the Central African Republic and led by Touadera, who said the token would provide access to the country’s “mountain” of natural resources, including gold and diamonds.
The country’s “Sango” website says it will “facilitate the symbolization of the Central African Republic’s resources for global investors.”
“Sango Coin will be the currency of the new generation of the Central African Republic,” Touadera said, without providing details.
The Central African Republic’s enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies does not appear to have been tainted by recent losses in their value, with bitcoin’s price falling more than 58% in the past three months, according to data from Refinitiv.
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