Today, Russian tech provider Universa has clarified its work on the Tunisia e-dinar, previously reported to be a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The blockchain firm indeed launched the uDinar, a digital currency backed by the Tunisian dinar, last week, but stated that it is not a CBDC.
Last week Ledger Insights published an article based on a Tass news report that the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) launched a test version of an e-dinar. Tass stated, on November 7th, that the central bank itself announced the creation of the digital currency and was the first to convert part of its capital to electronic form. It would also be issued through Universa’s blockchain platform, the agency added.
On Sunday, Universa retweeted a different article and Russian government release celebrating the creation of the “CBDC”. Two days earlier, Ledger Insights contacted Universa via email with follow up questions to our CBDC article. We were requested to make a spelling correction and answers were promised. However, it wasn’t until yesterday, four days after our publication and attempted contact of the Tunisian central bank and Universa, that the BCT refuted the news. In fact, “the name of the BCT was improperly used,” its statement said.
Today, Universa has released its own statement on the uDinar, signed by CEO Alexander Borodich.
It reads: “On the 7th November Universa Hub Africa have launched uDinar, backed by Tunisian Dinar, as a Proof-of-Concept [PoC]. The PoC app is using decentralized ledger technology based on local blockchain hosted by Tunisian Agency of Internet. The Agency is our partner in terms of Universa Solutions in Tunisia.”
So, the firm released a fiat-backed digital currency, but it, the uDinar, is not affiliated with the central bank. The launch presentation took place at the Forex Club Tunisia, where the test transaction between the head of the central bank and an IMF official reportedly occurred. The Forex Club has since stated that it was just that; a theoretical test.
Universa’s statement continues: “No question of CBDC émission [sic] related to uDinar was discussed at the Forex Club Tunisie Сongress. CBT [Central Bank of Tunisia] is considering a variety of alternatives for future currency digitalisation and has no contractual aspect on CBDC with Universa Hub Africa.”
“The misinterpretation in the articles that followed was not based on claims of Universa’s or CBT official representatives,” it adds.
We eventually managed to track down a recording of the event: