Central Africa Rolls Out Sango Coin Amid Transparency, Credibility Worries

The Central African Republic (CAR)’s authorities unveiled a new crypto project, dubbed Sango Coin, which President Faustin-Archange Touadéra launched as the country’s national cryptocurrency in an online event, but hopes for a major push for crypto adoption in Africa have been partially replaced by fears that the initiative could actually undermine the continent’s increasing trust in crypto.

“I have always wanted to leave something precious as legacy to future generations,” Touadéra said during the event. “My vision is to educate the youth so that it embraces new technologies, and also cryptocurrencies.”

The president said it is estimated that 57% of the African population does not have access to banking services, but that modern technologies provide solutions to this challenge.

Cryptocurrencies are “an alternative to liquid cash, and banks’ bureaucracy,” according to the politician, adding that Sango Coin could be used to facilitate cross-border investments and purchases across Africa.

Sango Coin’s creators claim that the project’s features include an e-residency and citizenship program, tokenization of the CAR’s national natural resources, and a metaverse they say is the only one “backed by reality” — meaning, this metaverse will be backed by the country’s natural resources.

In its analysis of the country’s political and economic situation, the World Bank calls it “one of the poorest and most fragile countries in the world” despite its substantial natural resources. The bank has also demonstrated pessimism with regard to the lack of transparency inherent to the CAR’s economy.

At the same time, it continues to provide financial support to the nation, and last May, it approved a project worth USD 35m to implement digital governance in the country’s public sector.

Meanwhile, on YouTube, in the comment section under the Sango event video, some commentators were skeptical despite the event’s optimistic tone. User Dave Mcllroy, for example, wrote that the CAR was “[g]oing to learn the hard way unfortunately. Centralized sh*tcoin, will be bankrupt within 18mo. Had CAR simply invested in Bitcoin and held on, they’d have changed their country’s fortunes while ushering in the new economies of the EMs”.

Speaking of which, the Central African Republic made headlines earlier this year after it was reported that it had adopted bitcoin (BTC)” as its “legal tender”.

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