Bokolo Cash: The Solomon Islands’ New Digital Currency Initiative

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The Solomon Islands’ Central Bank has initiated a trial for a new digital currency, named Bokolo Cash. This project, supported by the Japanese blockchain company Soramitsu, aims to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC) equivalent to one Solomon Islands dollar. Bokolo Cash will be usable in retail environments within Honiara, the nation’s capital, and for transferring money between individuals.

The trial will also encompass broader financial operations like inter-bank wholesale transactions and test runs of international payments and remittances. To ensure security and compliance, a stringent two-tier customer verification process will be implemented. Bokolo Cash is designed to run on a specialised blockchain infrastructure, modelled on Hyperledger’s Iroha technology, and will be connected to Soramitsu’s public Sora blockchain. This setup will enable users to execute transactions using QR codes and the Fearless Wallet, a secure storage solution developed by Soramitsu.

The launch of Bokolo Cash is a significant step for the Solomon Islands, signaling the country’s commitment to adopting modern, digital financial solutions. This move places the Solomon Islands alongside other island nations like Palau, the Marshall Islands, and Mauritius, which are also exploring the use of CBDCs. While Tonga has considered adopting Bitcoin as legal tender and Vanuatu is known for its Bitcoin-friendly Satoshi Island, the Eastern Caribbean countries have already implemented their own official CBDC, known as DCash.

Soramitsu is notable in the region for its involvement in various CBDC projects. The company’s technology is the foundation of the Cambodian bakong and the Lao DLak, and it has recently embarked on a project that integrates the bakong with stablecoins for regional cross-border payments.

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