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Digital Currency Pilot: Uruguayan Central Bank is Converting Physical Cash

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:00 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:00 PM

Uruguay’s central bank joins a growing list of global counterparts in researching and developing its own digital currency.

The Banco Central del Uruguay (BDC), the country’s central bank, has been working at digitizing its peso as a part of the institution’s endeavor to explore the development and creation of its own digital currency. While details are scarce, BCU governor and chief Mario Bergara revealed the digital currency will represent the same value as fiat paper bills, according to the Latin American Herald Tribune.

The central banker was speaking at a BCU-hosted event called ‘The Future of Money and Financial Systems’ when he revealed the bank’s efforts to enable users to load electronic currency on a mobile application, “instead of carrying around a leather wallet with paper currency.”

In quotes reported by the publication, Bergara stated:

We are fairly close to launching from BCU a pilot program for a limited number of digital-currency users, which is an experiment in transforming physical bills into electronic ones.

The official also confirmed that the digital currency pilot will fundamentally involve treating the digital currency as cash that can be transferred between individual users using the mobile app. The central banker’s comments are notable for the conviction in stressing the inevitability of the future society using digital currencies. While the banker called for the digital currency to have “same soundness as normal currency,” he added that “sooner or later, it will be implemented in Uruguay.”

Further, the official also claimed that much of the work had been done already, with only “logistical and technological” details that required sorting.

Much of the work done by central banks around the world to research and develop digital currencies is centered around blockchain technology, the same underlying decentralized innovation best-known as the core tech of bitcoin. China’s central has already developed and tested a digital currency using a yet-unknown blockchain earlier this year. In June this year, Singapore’s central bank revealed details of trials wherein it issued digitized Singaporean dollars on a private Ethereum blockchain.

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