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  • Payment
  • Estonia

Estonia takes the lead in MNBC

Eesti Pank, the Central Bank of Estonia, has revealed the results of an experiment conducted on the technological possibilities of launching a blockchain-based central bank digital currency (CBDN). And its collaboration with Guardtime, a specialised technology company, has led to successful initial tests.


  • Guardtime is the originator of a blockchain called KSI which has been adapted worldwide for various applications. In particular, it has been adapted to support digital currencies under the name KSI Cash since the early 2000s.

  • Eesti Pank first entrusted Guardtime with the task of developing a blockchain technology capable of optimising its computer exchanges. A successful operation that demonstrated its ability to support a payment system.

  • The promise of KSI Cash is to support a payment system that is more powerful and faster than the current card or instant payment systems. It takes an average of 0.6 seconds to make a peer to peer payment on KSI.

  • KSI Cash also offers environmental benefits, allowing payments to be processed using less energy than card payments or Bitcoins.


  • A further step towards interoperability: Bitcoin, based on the blockchain, remains to this day a reference and a pioneering model for crypto-currency. The efforts of central banks to present a digital alternative to their currency are mainly focused on building their own ecosystems based on the Blockchain model. This strategy is opening up a new market for payment specialists such as Visa. Estonia, for its part, has made another choice, that of integrating its MNBC directly into an existing blockchain open to other state crypto-currencies.

  • The interest of the partnership: By partnering with Guardtime, Eesti Pank is now presenting a successful model while many countries are still stuck at the experimental stage for their MNBC.


  • MNBC research projects started in October 2020 in Estonia. The country now has a successful model, but there are precedents.

  • Nigeria is a pioneer in MNBC with its eNiara, as are the Bahamas and China.