Cambodia is reportedly considering following Venezuela in issuing a state cryptocurrency. The south American nation launched the Petro in February, although the process was certainly not a smooth one.
It is expected that the Southeast Asian nation will announce the new digital currency at the forthcoming ASEAN 2018 BlockChain Summit on March 7. A press release issued before the says that the country will be making a “notable” announcement regarding a new payment project called Entapay.
The release describes the project as deriving:
“…from ‘quantum entanglement’, meaning that security and encryption are the priorities, and commits itself to providing the safer, faster and more convenient service for users, enriching the practicabilities of blockchain.”
The release goes on to state that the project has the potential to replace established payment giants such as VISA.
Another potential reason for Cambodia’s interest in digital currencies could be the technology’s potential ability to get past any international sanctions that may be levelled on the country. The country is facing criticism for a number of undemocratic moves, such as a crackdown on the press and the dissolution of the main opposition parties.
One of Venezuela’s main stated aims for introducing their cryptocurrency was to try and skirt around the economic sanctions placed on it by western powers. This statement led to a lot of criticism, with a lot of legal experts thinking that this aim is still not legally possible. Some legal experts have called the cryptocurrency a “forward sale of Venezuelan oil” which would mean it is still subject to the country’s hydrocarbon laws.
There are also concerns about the currency’s validity. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin noted on twitter:
Particularly, I recall the whitepaper says it doesn’t offer oil, it offers bolivars based on the oil price. On top of risk of total default, this gives them opportunity to do a partial default by manipulating the official bolivar rate, which they have a history of doing.
— Vitalik “No I’m not giving away ETH” Buterin (@VitalikButerin) 21 February 2018
The Marshall Islands are also set to join the party, with the government recently announcing its plans to launch an ICO in the coming months.