Georgia All Set to Launch Pilot Test Phase of Digital Lari This Year

  • The NBG had planned to begin testing the CBDC in 2022.
  • Initially, it will only be available in a stripped-down trial form.

The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) is preparing to publish a whitepaper on the “digital lari,” which will provide a framework for interested parties to refine their suggestions ahead of the project’s pilot phase. The NBG had planned to begin testing the central bank digital currency (CBDC) in 2022, but that timeline has been pushed back to this year.

In an interview with Rustavi 2 TV, Deputy Governor Papuna Lezhava said, that in the first half of 2023, it will issue the paper, and shortly after, along with the chosen partner, it will consider how long it would take to complete the project.

Adapting to Demands of Digital Economy

According to the official, many strategies for evaluating the digital version of the Georgian lari have already been accepted. Lezhava said that the decision to go forward with the project’s actualization has not yet been made.

Initially, it will only be available in a stripped-down trial form. This will serve as the foundation for assessing the technological merits of the “digital lari.”

The NBG’s mission is to maintain price and financial stability. Georgia’s monetary policy supervisor has said that the rise of digital technology compelled the country’s central bank to improve its currency and create a digital equivalent of the lari.

According to the bank’s explanation, a CBDC is required so that the financial sector can better adapt to the demands of the digital economy and boost the efficacy of economic policy. The document further stressed the coin’s position as a legal currency in Georgia.

The NBG said that the new platform can operate both online and offline, meaning that users won’t need the help of third parties like commercial banks or payment systems to use the digital lari.

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