Laos prioritizes blockchain for digital transformation

On May 26, the Laotian government held its first Ministerial Conference on Blockchain 4.0 Digital Transformation in Vientiane, the country’s capital. The conference was led by Laotian Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone and was attended by blockchain experts and leaders from various economic departments within the country.

Blockchain 4.0 is revolutionizing #Laos. It’s driving financial inclusion, fostering transparency, and enhancing security in transactions. Smart contracts and decentralized finance are opening new avenues for growth. Truly, a game-changer for the nation’s economy. #MetaBankLaos …

— MetaBank (@MetaBankSG) May 27, 2023

According to a report from Singaporean software company MetaBank, the meeting focused on expediting Laos’ digital transformation through leveraging digital technology. Blockchain 4.0 was introduced as a concept, emphasizing the importance of open collaboration and positioning Laos as a catalyst and beneficiary of the emerging global digital landscape.

MetaBank is a partner organization of the Laotian Ministry of Technology, and the two organizations plan to create a blockchain research and development center to support Laos’ Blockchain 4.0 initiative.

The conference outlined several goals for Laos’ digital economy development, including generating new fiscal revenue through digital technology, bolstering foreign exchange reserves, curbing inflation, fostering sustainable economic growth, enhancing living standards, and boosting international competitiveness in the short term. Additionally, the conference proposed the formation of a Blockchain Technology Transformation Committee responsible for ensuring legal compliance and drafting legislation pertinent to the digital economy.

During the conference, Siphandone emphasized the importance of integrating blockchain technology into various government processes and utilizing it extensively for administrative management and public services. He stated that embracing blockchain technology is essential to achieving Laos’ ninth five-year plan for national, economic, and social development.

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Located in Southeast Asia, Laos has recently made significant strides in incorporating blockchain and digital technology. In February, Japanese financial software firm Soramitsu signed a memorandum of understanding with the central bank of Laos to launch a proof-of-concept project for a central bank digital currency called DLak. Under the project, DLak will be exchanged with commercial banks for fiat currency and used for real-time transactions with participating sellers using a QR code and app. This initiative aims to address the previous delays in digital transactions in Laos, which could take up to a month to clear.

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