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Central African Republic launches its own cryptocurrency

Central African Republic launches its own cryptocurrency

The Central African Republic (CAR) on Sunday officially kicked off the construction of its own cryptocurrency, the Sango, and the future "first African crypto-hub" with "zero tax."

The Central African Republic was the second country in the world, after El Salvador, to accept Bitcoin as official currency and legalize the use of cryptocurrencies. Two months after that, the president, Faustin Archange Touadéra, announced at an online event that the country would be launching "a new digital system powered by blockchain technology."

No concrete details were given about the modalities and timetable for the creation of this "Sango Coin" and a "crypto-island," a platform through which this virtual currency could become "the catalyst for the tokenization of the Central African Republic's vast natural resources."

One of the key issues that President Touadéra did emphasize was financial inclusion and the importance of citizens being able to easily access crypto via a smartphone. He drew comparisons to the understaffed banking sector in CAR, which has several barriers to access:

"Citizens will benefit 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, unlike traditional banking, have the advantage of quick access, fast execution, lack of bureaucracy and low cost."

Smartphone as solution to lack of financial infrastructure

Touadéra was very enthusiastic about the application of smartphones in his financial dream for the Central African Republic. In the country where some 57% of the population does not have a bank, due to a lack of financial infrastructure, smartphones (combined with cryptocurrencies) would be the solution, according to Touadéra. "Trading, saving and investing in cryptocurrencies, all through your smartphone, without a bank.”

"The smartphone is the alternative to traditional banking, cash and financial bureaucracy," said the president of the second least developed country in the world according to the UN, where in 2022 only 14.3% of the more than 5 million inhabitants have access to electricity and even less to the internet, 71% of whom live below the international poverty line (less than €1.80 a day) and more than half of whom need humanitarian aid, according to the World Bank.

"The Central African Republic sits on a mountain of untapped resources," including gold, diamonds and rare metals, and "Sango Coin will give the world direct access to our resources" to attract investors and "get the engines of the economy going," the head of state said.

Luc Smits van Oyen
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