The Governor of the Central Bank of Mauritius, Harvesh Kumar Sigolam, has said that the pilot project of the digital Mauritian rupee will be launched in November 2023. This comes after a three-year study of its potential.
According to the Central Bank Governor, the digital rupee will help preserve the country's monetary sovereignty and help other central banks and regulators in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
In 2020, the Central Bank of Mauritius requested technical support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the issue. After three years of studying the possibility of creating a state-owned cryptocurrency, it was concluded that it would be based on a two-tier model involving commercial banks, which would avoid dramatic disruptions in the financial sector by preserving the role of banks in the country's monetary structure.
The Central Bank of Mauritius intends to continue research in the regulatory sandbox with a view to adapting the state stablecoin to the peculiarities of the country's financial system.
The first step will be the launch of an interest-free digital rupee. The second step will be to investigate potential cross-border payments using it. Sigolam expressed confidence that these actions should make international transfers easier and faster. A public hearing is planned for June, where participants and stakeholders will be able to express their views on the use of digital rupee as a means of payment.
The Republic of Mauritius has been gradually adopting blockchain technology for several years. Back in 2019, Mauritius began issuing licences to crypto services and the Mauritius Financial Services Commission (FSC) has provided guidance on the regulation of tokenised shares.