The Central African Republic’s (CAR) adoption of digital assets and blockchain technology continues to gain new grounds. The country has introduced a national digital currency called “Sango Coin” that will complement its digital currency hub project—Project Sango.
CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadéra announced Sango Coin during the Sango Genesis Event, a virtual event launching Project Sango. According to Touadéra, Sango Coin will be the next-generation currency for the country and will be a gateway to the country’s natural resources.
The president also emphasized that Sango Coin is part of the CAR’s vision to have an “integrated capital market that could stimulate commerce and sustain growth.” This, in turn, will improve the current banking system by increasing financial inclusion for the country’s citizens through Project Sango.
“The citizens will gain at every level, they will live in a country in full economic development, which means employment and prosperity. Moreover, they will benefit from virtual transactions which, in contrast to traditional banking, have the advantage of rapid access, fast execution, lack of bureaucracy, and low cost…For us, the formal economy is no longer an option,” he said.
While the complete details of the national digital currency are not fully disclosed, the Minister of Finance confirmed that it would be backed by BTC. The CAR became the second country in the world and the first in Africa to adopt BTC as legal tender back in April.
The scope of the CAR’s plans for blockchain technology
Along with making the digital currency legal tender, the country’s National Assembly has also given its backing to the president to make the country the first digital currency hub in Africa, and it is hard at work to provide a regulatory framework for the industry.
As part of Project Sango, CAR plans to build an actual “Crypto Island,” which will host digital currency firms with special incentives, including zero-percent corporate and personal tax on digital assets, as well as citizenship by investment.
The project also pushes for metaverse adoption by promising to allow for the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in providing digital identity, e-residency, and registry of real estate assets on-chain. Additionally, the country intends to open up investment in its natural resources through tokenization and crowdfunding regulation.
These elaborate plans have, however, been met with some skepticism from observers. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Central African regional governing body of the banking sector COBAC have both warned of the risks inherent in the CAR’s move.
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