A total of 5.7 million transactions were made through the National Bank of Cambodia’s (NBC) blockchain-based nationwide payment system last year, reflecting rapid progress in the Kingdom’s financial sector, the central bank said in its 2021 annual report.

The report noted that 4.5 million transactions were conducted in US dollars, worth $1.9 billion, while the remaining 1.2 million were made in the local currency, totalling 1.7 trillion riel ($421 million).

As of end-2021, Bakong – launched on October 28, 2020 – was officially used by 27 financial institutions, with 28 more being granted membership and preparing to connect to the infrastructure, the report said, adding that 254,000 user accounts have been registered under the system.

Bakong plays an important role in bolstering cross-institutional operations, champions financing inclusiveness, and enables Cambodia to link up with regional countries’ payment systems to ease money transfers and cross-border trade transactions, the NBC added.