According to some reports, the South African Reserve Bank will consider introducing a "blockchain based, digital version" of the South African Rand (ZAR).

This comes a few months after Senegal became the second country in the world after Tunisia to introduce a national digital currency based on its fiat currency, but running on blockchain technology.

“If we go the route of issuing a digital currency, the objective would be to take advantage of emerging technologies so that we reap the benefits.” Tim Masela, Head of the National Payments System at the South African Reserve Bank

When referring to “emerging technologies”, Masela explained he is talking about blockchain, and this won't be the first time that South Africa's central bank has used the distributed ledger system of the blockchain. In 2016 the South African Reserve Bank became the first central bank in Africa to successfully circulate a smart contract on an Ethereum blockchain-based private network set up among for itself and its other financial institution partners.

The smart contract distribution using Ethereum came after talks by South African banks in July 2016 to connect some parts of the South African banking system to a private version of the Ethereum blockchain.

Given its position as one of Africa's largest economies, if South Africa does go ahead with its digital currency plans, it will likely see other countries pursue similar options, as such a move would be an endorsement of the viability and acceptance of blockchain technologies that have gained adoption elsewhere in the world.

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