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Digital Dinar: Tunisia Launches Electronic Currency

On November 7, Tunisia was the first in the world to launch a digital currency, based on the results of which the country's Central Bank will decide to issue a state currency. The test transaction was carried out in the presence of the head of the republic's regulator, Murani El Abyssi, the Izvestia correspondent reports. Virtual money will be issued on the basis of the Russian blockchain platform. Thus, Tunisia is trying to develop cashless payments. Also in the future, it is planned to carry out cross-country settlements using virtual money, bypassing the dollar. For Russia, the issue of digital currencies based on its platform is the export of services, which the government should increase to $ 100 billion by the end of 2024.

Tunisia's digital money is not a cryptocurrency, but CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency), explained Alexander Borodich, founder of the Russian blockchain platform Universa, on the basis of which a new payment tool is being released. The virtual currency is secured with real banknotes.

From November 7, 2 thousand kiosks will appear on the territory of Tunisia, in which citizens will be able to replenish their digital wallet. At the initial stage, they will make payment through a browser in a smartphone, later a mobile application will appear. You can send digital money or make a purchase by scanning the QR code. The participants in the presentation of the system performed this operation in the presence of the head of the Central Bank of Tunisia: they sent each other one dinar (the currency of this country).

Tunisia plans to save on the production of paper money by using digital currency: it will no longer need to be withdrawn from circulation and destroyed when it becomes obsolete, and also to constantly complicate protection against counterfeiting. The country's government also expects to increase tax collection and popularize non-cash payments among the population with the help of electronic money. Now in Tunisia, payment by cards is not developed, since the commission for acquiring Visa and MastrerCard systems is 5-6%. Universa plans to charge a much more modest 1% fee, said Alexander Borodich.

Companies and banks in Tunisia will pay with digital money. It is assumed that it is financial institutions that should stimulate the population to switch to digital settlements through various marketing proposals.

Also, the issue of digital currency will allow to fully track the movement of money within the country. Now, not a single central bank of the world can observe the life cycle of a banknote after its issuance at an ATM and before it hits the machine that reads the number again. Thus, Tunisia intends to overcome the shadow sector.

Hervé Turp, Director of the Digital Department of the International Monetary Fund, who attended the launch of the Tunisian digital currency, said that issuing virtual money would be a good alternative to paper banknotes and help reduce their circulation around the world. According to him, in some countries money is still transported in large volumes, for example, by boats.

The head of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Elvira Nabiullina said earlier that the regulator will monitor countries that issue digital currencies, and only after that will make a decision to consolidate this financial instrument in Russian legislation.

After the appearance of virtual money in other states, it will be possible to carry out cross-country settlements with their help, bypassing the dollar. In addition to Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania expect to do this in the near future. Also, China, Turkey and Brazil have plans to issue digital currency, said Alexander Borodich. Facebook's virtual currency, Libra, is due in the US. But despite the fact that initially the founder of the social network, Mark Zuckerberg, enlisted the support of the American regulator, questions still arose about the project.

For the Russian Federation, the release of the Tunisian digital currency based on the Russian blockchain is beneficial in that it thus increases the export of its services. On behalf of President Vladimir Putin, the government should increase its volume to $ 100 billion by the end of 2024.

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