Tunisia is reportedly gearing up to move some of its national currency to a blockchain platform, creating its own central bank digital currency, Russian news outlet Tass reported this week. The digital dinar will be backed by paper currency and will include anti-counterfeit features.
The digitization project is being conducted In partnership with Russian startup Universa, which will host the digital dinar on its Universa Blockchain and provide the central bank with the ability to see every transaction between buyer and seller. Reports also suggest that Universa will be paid a small portion of each transaction.
Universa CEO Alexander Borodich noted that this type of central bank-backed electronic money should not be confused with cryptocurrency. He also suggested that the digital dinar would offer advantages in terms of transaction speed, traceability, and protection against counterfeits:
“Electronic banknotes cannot be faked - each such banknote, like the paper version, is protected by cryptography, it, like the paper counterpart, has its own digital watermarks. And the production of such a banknote is 100 times cheaper than wasting ink, paper, electricity for the printing press."
Reports also indicate that Tunisia has no plans to issue the digital dinar as additional currency. Instead, the country plans to designate a portion of its reserves for digitization, while allowing Tunisia’s citizens to choose to exchange their dinars for the digital currency version.