Ukraine’s CBDC is on its way, and it might use a public blockchain.
While many countries have been considering CBDCs for many years already, the only examples so far include digital yuan, a Chinese CBDC, the “sand dollar”, a CBDC issued by the Bahamas last year, and recently launched eNaira, Nigeria’s CBDC.
This list may very soon be joined by e-hryvnia, as Ukrainian bank TASCOMBANK, together with fintech platform Bitt and under the supervision of the Ukrainian Central Bank, is launching pilot project to issue an electronic hryvnia on Stellar blockchain.
The pilot will test e-hryvnia in handling payroll for public employees, as well as P2P and merchant payments.
Crypto is very popular in Ukraine, and earlier this year the country’s Parliament passed the law recognizing and regulating them. This law also cleared the way for a CBDC, although it is not a crypto per se: it is centrally issued digital fiat that circulates on a blockchain-like or another system, bypassing commercial banks.
Central Banks like to keep control, so often a CBDC implies a private (i.e. not decentralized) blockchain or another closed system, where a central authority can control everything that happens on it. The particularity of the Ukrainian CBDC is the choice of a public decentralized blockchain, which is Stellar. The details of e-hryvnia architecture and ecosystem are not yet disclosed, but if it were to take the form of a standard token, it could enjoy the independent transfer inherent to the open blockchains – and that is quite extraordinary.
This will be interesting to follow.