Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Crypto-currency eyes Cambodia with new terminals

Crypto-currency eyes Cambodia with new terminals

Crypto-currency eyes Cambodia with new terminals

Cambodia is proving to be an attractive target for crypto-currencies, with one of the most recently established operators of virtual money declaring their intention to roll out terminals in Phnom Penh this year.

Officials of the foundation that founded Blackcoin, a digital-currency formed in February by a Russian developer named rat4, say they have secured the purchase of two terminals; one to facilitate exchange between US dollars and Blackcoin, and the other to make retail payments, the Phnom Penh based co-founder of the Blackcoin foundation Josh Bouw told the Post.

“We are considering giving the terminals to local currency traders – one in Central Market and the other in Tuol Tompuong,” the 23-year-old from Canada said.

The machines could be operational as early as July, Bouw added.

The terminals, developed by Canadian firm Coinkite, accept a range of different crypto-currencies including Blackcoin and Bitcoin. Users input their crypto-currency debit card, then depending on which crypto-currency you select, the machine will either charge your account directly or produce a barcode receipt that users scan with their phone to make a deduction.

The terminals allow Blackcoin holders to make purchases at places such as clothing stores and coffee shops that choose to participate.

Like other crypto-currencies, Blackcoins are purchased online for legal tender and then traded directly between one Blackcoin holder to another without the need for a third party, such as a bank.

As at 5pm yesterday, there were more than 74 million Blackcoins in circulation, with a total market value of more than $9 million, or $0.12 per coin.

Bouw said he is aiming to bring more terminals to the capital in the future.

There are now an estimated 290 different crypto-currencies, including Blackcoin and the flagship Bitcoin, currently being traded online.

In March the Post reported local businessman Ki Chong Tran submitted a request to the Bitcoin Foundation asking for a $100,000 grant to establish a crypto-currency network with ATMs here in Phnom Penh.

The Bitcoin article prompted an April 7 announcement from the National Bank of Cambodia that crypto-currencies would not be recognised as legal tender in Cambodia.

The NBC cited inflated risk of cyber-crime and hacking, money laundering and terrorism financing due to the absence of any regulation and consumer protection instruments within the crypto-currency framework as key reasons for the refusal.

Newcomer Blackcoin has also called on Cambodia’s largest payment transfer and remittance service, Wing, to help facilitate acceptance of crypto-currencies in Cambodia.

However, Wing CEO Anthony Perkins told the Postyesterday that while crypto-currencies are an “exciting” development, his firm’s stance on the issue was in line with that of the NBC's.

“Wing is not in a position to consider direct cooperation with such entities for electronic transactions or interchange until such time as they or their new currencies are recognised by the NBC,” he added.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government denies claims former Thai PM Yingluck issued Cambodian passport

    Government officials on Thursday denied claims that a Cambodian passport was issued to former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who reportedly used it to register a company in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong-based English language South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Wednesday reported Hong Kong

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading