Speculation is growing about which country will be first to issue a digital version of their own fiat currency. As part of this, you may have seen conflicting stories about an e-Dinar being issued by Tunisia. What is the truth about this currency?
The Reports of an E-Dinar
Online stories began to circulate recently about a new Tunisian digital currency. It was said to be getting launched on the Universa blockchain. This is run by a Russian start-up and the report seem to have originated from the Tass news agency in that country.
These initial news stories included quotes from Alexander Borodich. He is the founder and CEO of Universa. Borodich said that “Digital banknotes cannot be counterfeited” and would have their own digital watermarks.
It was also pointed out that this switch to the blockchain would have a number of other benefits for the Tunisian authorities. These include making it cheaper and easier for them to issue new notes. It has been noted previously that digital money would make it easier to collect taxes too.
The idea was said to be that of moving part of their existing reserves to the digital platform. Citizens would then be able to exchange their physical bank notes for these e-Dinars.
The Tunisian Government Deny It
That all sounded good. The problem is that the Tunisian government then came out and denied it all. They said that there is no e-Dinar about to be launched.
The Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) issued a statement denying the earlier reports. They said in it that they are “currently focusing on the digitization of finance” but not in terms of a cryptocurrency.
It seems that the confusion came from an event called the Forex Club of Tunisia. This was hosted by an independent association, although it seems to have had some sort of connection to the BCT as well.
There were discussions here about the matter of central bank digital currencies. This apparently included a demonstration of how a digital currency could be set up by a private company. However, there is currently no contract or relationship between the startup and the BCT.
It seems as though the name of Tunisia and the possibility of an e-Dinar were then taken out of context.
Who Will Be the First Country to Issue a Fiat Cryptocurrency?
If Tunisia isn’t the first country to issue a digital version of its own fiat money then who will be? Mike Novogratz spoke recently about how the USD is falling behind China in the blockchain race. Other names that are often mentioned in this context are India, Russia and North Korea.
Time will tell whether one of these countries is the first to go ahead. Or where someone else beats them to it. For the moment though, the reports of an e-Dinar were just a false alarm.