Mauritius central bank digital currency nears pilot scheme launch: report

The central bank of Mauritius is preparing to roll out a pilot scheme of its central bank digital currency, in what looks set to be one of the first of its kind to launch anywhere in the world.

According to a Governor Harvesh Seegolam, the Bank of Mauritius is almost ready to launch its digital currency, which focuses primarily on retail applications within the island nation.

While slim on the details of the pilot, Seegolam said the bank was expecting to make further announcements on the CBDC soon: “At the level of the Bank of Mauritius, we’re currently working on a project and very shortly we’ll be making announcements … with respect to a potential introduction of a CBDC.”

Mauritius has already carved a reputation for effective handling of digital currency, after first announcing plans for a CBDC last November. After publishing guidance on issuing security tokens, the country has also established a legal framework for digital currency custodians, including licensing structures.

Seegolam said the CBDC would be issued by the central bank and distributed through the mainstream financial system, in order to preserve financial stability on the island.

“I think we are in a phase where we are all thinking about CBDCs, we are all very interested in introducing CBDCs but there are key fundamental questions that have to be answered first for us to be able to proceed.”

“These are not stumbling blocks, they are just questions on which we need answers to make it work in a more efficient manner.”

The move follows fellow islanders the Marshall Islands, at the forefront of what looks set to be an emerging wave of central bank digital currencies.

It comes at a time when central banks around the world are known to be investigating or developing their own central bank digital currencies.

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