Cambodia launched Entapay, its own national cryptocurrency on Wednesday, the 7th of March, 2018, at the ASEAN Blockchain Summit which held in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh.
This is a move reminiscent of Venezuela’s adoption of the Petro cryptocurrency as legal tender last month. Among those in attendance was the Deputy Prime Minister, Men Sam An, thus giving it the appearance of government backing.
This is coming in the wake of sanctions imposed on Cambodia and its prime minister. Many see this as a way for the country to avoid the limitations of the sanctions, and circumvent its effects.
With this move, Cambodia has positioned itself as a pioneer among Asian countries in support of the blockchain technology. According to those familiar with the matter, “Entapay will promote payment efficiency for users and reduce peripheral costs by the payment instrument of digital currency.”
Cambodia is the second country that’s officially adopting a national cryptocurrency, with others like North Korea, Turkey, Iran and Russia looking to join the ranks soon.
The Cambodian government hopes that Entapay will be “the connection between integration payment of encrypted currency and the real world. It has the great potential to even replace Visa as the new mainstream payment mode.”.
This is an ambitious statement particularly considering that there’s precious little information on how Entapay will work or what’s backing it. This is in complete dissonance with the Petro whose value is backed by Venezuela’s oil and its natural resources. The Cambodian government so far, is being cagey about what the value of Entapay will be tied to.
It is important to note that all viable cryptocurrencies are often tied some technology, project, or even natural resources.
Experts have warned that digital currencies with their loose regulations and decentralized nature pose a great risk to potential investors or users as they can be used in the execution of nefarious activities as well as circumventing conventional trade activities, particularly among different countries.
Because these currencies are primarily driven by a technology called the blockchain, which is run and sustained by individual computers across the globe, regulation is often impossible. Thus, making them the perfect currencies for cross border transactions.
There are rumors that Entapay may be the Cambodian government’s solution to international trade restrictions as there’s no oversight from the global community or the countries issuing the trade sanctions.
The introduction of Entapay today, demonstrates Cambodia’s resolve to boost its economy through the blockchain as well as become the leading cryptocurrency in Asia. Whether this will be the case, remains to be seen.