The Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) has denied reports stating that the bank is developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). An official announcement from the BCT follows apparently false reports that Tunisia was the first country to start moving its national currency to a blockchain platform and was preparing to launch its “e-dinar.”
Central Bank of Tunisia is focused on the digitization of finance
In the statement, the BCT refuted all claims regarding the development of a digital money solution. The Central bank clarified that it is now exploring various methods of digital payment alternatives, including a possible CBDC, but it has not moved forward with its implementation. The bank further stated:
“The BCT is currently focusing on the digitization of finance, in its digital currency dimension and not that on cryptocurrency. Its services are studying the opportunities and risks inherent in these new technologies, particularly in terms of cyber security and financial stability.”
Regarding the purported partnership with a foreign company to deliver a CBDC, the BCT declared that it does not have such a relationship with any domestic or foreign firm.
Confusion regarding proof-of-concept at the Forex Club of Tunisia
However, the bank admitted that the Forex Club of Tunisia — an event hosted by an “independent association connected to the BCT” — has featured talks regarding CBDCs. At the event, participants were offered to attend a demonstration on the theoretical feasibility of a digital currency initiated by a private startup.
The startup has “no moral or contractual relationship with the BCT,” the bank emphasized. The BCT concluded that the proof-of-concept at the forum was taken out of context due to a marketing operation where the BCT’s name was improperly used.
In the statement, the BCT also specified that it is preparing to launch a regulatory sandbox for technological innovations in the banking and financial sector in early 2020.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, one of the first reports on the BCT’s alleged e-dinar was delivered by Russian news agency Tass on Nov. 7. The report said that the Tunisian dinar would be digitized and issued on the Universa Blockchain, a platform created by a Russian initial coin offering startup.