Central African Republic launches official crypto, Sango Coin

Temitope Akintade
“The alternative to cash is cryptocurrency. For us, a formal economy is no longer an option”- President Touadera


Faustin-Archange Touadéra, the President of the Central African Republic (CAR) has launched Sango Coin, the country’s national cryptocurrency. He made the announcement at an online event yesterday.

At the ‘Sango Genesis Event’, the country’s president outlined plans for bitcoin and the national crypto utilization. Although the specific details about the national token have not been disclosed, the significant focus will be on tokenizing the country’s resources, in order to bolster investment opportunities:

Hence, the country became the second country, after El Salvador, to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender, in April. This project is spearheaded by Toudera, and also backed by the Central African Republic’s National Assembly.

Recall that Technext reported the country’s announcement to launch Africa’s first cryptocurrency investment hub (Project Sango) in May. The launch of the Sango Coin is a part of that initiative. 

What Sango coin will be used for 

According to President Touadéra in his address: “Sango Coin will be the next-generation currency for the Central African Republic.” The Sango website says that it will “facilitate the tokenization of Central African Republic’s resources for worldwide investors”. Sango Coin will also act as the “gateway to the natural resources of the Central African Republic”, the website side

The country’s authorities had previously announced plans to tokenize the country’s natural resources, including petroleum, diamonds and copper. It also plans to use Sango Coin to create a crypto-based economy driven by private investment, with the creation of a “crypto island” on the Oubangui River.

Central African Republic launches official crypto, Sango Coin
CAR President. Image Source: CoinLive

President Touadera sees cryptocurrency as a means to tackle financial exclusion in the country. Considering the cost of opening bank accounts, he said:

“The alternative to cash is cryptocurrency. For us, a formal economy is no longer an option.”

He also stressed the significance of enabling citizens to access cryptocurrencies through a smartphone quickly. He did this by making a comparison to the CAR banking sector, which is underutilized due to its entrance barriers.

“The citizens will gain at every level, they will live in a country in full economic development, which means employment and prosperity. Moreover, they will benefit from virtual transactions which, in contrast to traditional banking, have the advantage of rapid access, fast execution, lack of bureaucracy, and low cost.”

The Touadéra administration says it is adopting blockchain technology to digitise its land registry system.

Central African Republic launches official crypto, Sango Coin
CAR President will use Bitcoin and Sango Coin to harness the country’s resources

Central African Republic’s minister of finance, Hervé Ndoba, also appeared at the event. He stated that the national crypto is backed by bitcoin.

However, the bitcoin-backing nature of Sango Coin remains unclear. 

Going forward 

CAR seems undeterred by the current crypto market downturn. In fact, the country is pressing on in spite of warnings by financial institutions like the International Monetary Funds(IMF) which recently issued a warning about the risks of adopting crypto as a legal tender. 

But, the launch of the Sango Coin project indicates the government’s enthusiasm to grow its economy and strengthen its financial inclusion drive by introducing a possible payment method that can fast-track the ease of doing business.

However, the CAR is one of the poorest countries in the world even though it is rich in resources like gold and diamond. It is also a country that has faced violence and rebellions for years.

Central African Republic launches official crypto, Sango Coin
CAR has faced violence and crisis for years

Considering those factors, the decision to accept cryptocurrencies, in spite of poor internet penetration and unstable electrical supply, is a shock to cryptocurrency specialists, policymakers, locals and financial institutions like the IMF who have all questioned the decision on a viability basis. 

It might be much of a hurdle for Sango to achieve its goals due to those barriers but if it does, it is going to be a revolutionary and era-defining feat.

It will be interesting to see what plays out in the next few months as more details about the Sango project are disclosed.


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