The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) intends to pilot its own digital currency in a program scheduled for next year, Vice President Papuna Lezhava revealed this week. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the high-ranking official remarked that 85% of the world’s central banks are already working on state-issued digital currencies. Central banks across countries are actively working on CBDCs.
The central bank plans to use CBDC to facilitate retail service.
Quoted by the Interfax news agency, Vice President Lezhava stated: “Some are in the research phase, some are testing, some have already implemented it, including China and the Bahamas. We also want to be at the forefront of this trend.” The central banker further elaborated that a CBDC is not a cryptocurrency but rather “an evolution of cash.” Nevertheless, the digital Georgian lari is going to be based on the same technology that underpins decentralized digital money, blockchain. However, the lari coin will neither be mined nor be a subject of market speculation, Lezhava noted.
CBDC will help to improve the efficiency of the country’s payment system.
Officials behind the national digital currency project believe that the CBDC will help to improve the efficiency of the country’s payment system and promote financial inclusion in Georgia. Financial authorities hope it will become a faster and cheaper means of payment than traditional ones. The digital lari will also work around the clock, and its transactions will not require an internet connection, Papuna Lezhava added. He also highlighted “its main advantage” — the Georgian digital coin will be open to and compatible with other technologies, unlike paper cash and current payment systems.