Rwanda plans to launch its CBDC in two years

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June 6, 2024
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4 min read

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Hello,

Victoria from Techpoint Africa here,

Here's what I've got for you today:

  • Rwanda plans to launch its CBDC by 2026
  • Why this struggling YC startup isn't giving up
  • Zone launches a blockchain-powered PoS payment gateway

Rwanda to launch its digital currency by 2026

Bitcoin
Image by Freepik

Rwanda plans to create its own Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) within two years, offering a secure, free, and convenient alternative to conventional cash. 

The CBDC is projected to boost financial inclusion by allowing more unbanked people to join the formal economy. 

Other African countries, like Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa, are either in the piloting phase or have already implemented CBDCs, which are driving the development. 

In November 2024, the National Bank of Rwanda Governor, John Rwangombwa, announced the CBDC's development. A feasibility study was launched in May 2024 to investigate the possible benefits, dangers, and practicalities of establishing a retail CBDC in Rwanda.

So, Rwanda will conduct a proof of concept to test the technology, design, and speed on a limited scale once the public consultation process is completed in four weeks. 

What’s more, the government plans to create a CBDC that is accessible offline, especially in places without Internet access or smartphones or during power outages.

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Why this struggling YC startup isn't giving up

The Flux team
The Flux team

Startup closures in Africa's tech sector have increased, with 10 to 15 startups closing shops in 2023. The majority of these firms raised millions of dollars in capital before closing. 

Ben Eluan, co-founder and CEO of YC-backed Flux, has stated that, despite regulatory obstacles, the firm will not give up. 

The company, created in 2020 by Eluan and Osezele Orukpe, intends to make cross-border transactions safer and cheaper. 

Flux's concept of powering cross-border transactions in Africa appealed to investors, and the company was accepted into accelerators Pioneer in 2020 and Y Combinator in 2021. 

However, Flux's ambition to become a $1 billion cross-border payments startup is hampered by one stumbling block: regulation. To learn about its struggles and survival tactics, read Bolu’s latest insights here.


Zone launches a blockchain-powered PoS payment gateway

eTranzact PoS terminal
eTranzact PoS terminal; Image source: Nairametrics

Zone, an African payment infrastructure firm, has introduced a blockchain-powered PoS payment gateway product based on its payment platform. 

The solution will help banks and fintechs facilitate payments by allowing transactions to be routed directly to issuers. Zone's decentralised payment switching network connects acquirers directly to issuers, resulting in faster and more reliable transactions. 

As a CBN-licensed payment switch, Zone can perform direct transaction routing without breaking interbank payment regulations.

This move comes as Nigeria's regulator tightened regulations for PoS agents, requiring all 1.9 million of them to comply by July 2024.

The gateway will allow beneficiaries and their financial institutions to settle on the same day, to eliminate chargebacks and fraud on PoS terminals. How? By auto-refunding customers for unsuccessful transactions and auto-declining fraudulent chargebacks in real-time.


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Have a lovely Thursday!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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