(CNBC)—In 2000, Ecuador moved to ditch its stumbling currency for the U.S. dollar. Now more than 15 years later, the South American country is revamping its monetary system again—using digital currencies.
Ecuador's Sistema de Dinero Electrónico (electronic money system) kicked off in December by allowing qualifying users to set up accounts, and it will begin acting as a real means of transaction this month.
Once the government flips the switch, the South American nation of 16 million will host the first-ever state-run electronic payment system....
"I think quite rapidly people will be using it all over the place," said Paul Buitink, a cryptocurrency expert who teaches at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. "The plan is quite aggressive—they really want the whole population to use it as soon as possible."
Buitink said the project has been relatively well received by the Ecuadorean public. There are some concerns about privacy, he said, but it has generally been seen as a positive step....
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