Georgia to Pilot Digital Currency in Retail Commerce in 2022

The central bank of Georgia is ready to take its own digital currency project a step further
The central bank of Georgia is ready to take its own digital currency project a step further

The central bank of Georgia is ready to take its own digital currency project a step further than most. While the monetary authority is getting set to launch its CBDC as early as next year, it also plans to use the blockchain-based version of the national fiat, the Georgian lari, in retails.

Georgia to Introduce Digital Lari Next Year

The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) has announced its plans to introduce its own digital currency in a program slated for early next year. Clearly, Georgia is not the only nation working on issuing a CBDC. Speaking to reporters during the week, the Vice President, Papuna Lezhava confirms same. He says 85% of the central banks of the world are already working on the CBDC thing. And while some are still in the research phase, others are already testing, and few have actually implemented it. But according to the Interfax news agency, Lezhava does not in anyway feel left behind. He believes that Georgia too can be at the forefront of the ongoing trend.

Lezhava ensured to note the difference between cryptocurrency and the central bank digital currency (CBDC), claiming that the latter is only “an evolution of cash”. He however explained that the digital Georgian lari is going to be based on the same technology under which decentralized digital money operates— blockchain. But he insisted that the lari coin, will never be mined or ever be a subject of market speculation.

Also, there will only be one issuer of Georgia’s sovereign digital currency, and that’s the NBG. But it’s important to note where Georgia is hoping to stand out here. Despite the differences from cryptocurrencies, the digital lari will still be able to compete with cryptos in facilitating various services. For instance, the government in Tbilisi plans to use it in retail sales, even at the initial stages of its issuance.