The Banco Central dell Uruguay presented its pilot plan for the issue of digital banknotes. It is the first plan of this kind worldwide.

The virtual banknotes are similar to the physical ones, with a serial number. A total of UYU20,000,000 were issued, of which UYU7,000,000 were already transferred to Red Pagos, an interbank and financial institutions network widely used in Uruguay to pay utility bills and other retail payments and cash transfers.

The test is expected to last six months, and involve up to 10,000 users, which must first download an application from the to create a digital wallet, register, and load the first amount by paying in cash notes through Red Pagos. 

At this stage the participants are the Banco Central del Uruguay, the issuer; ANTEL the telephone company; RGC, the system provider; IBM, provider of data storage, circulation and control; and Red Pagos.

This will be a program in which the transfer between users is not a transfer of exact amounts, like the payment systems widely used worldwide, but one in which actual electronic versions of actual banknotes with their unique serial numbers are being moved between participants. Users can go to any Red Pagos outlet and get physical banknotes by paying in electronic ones.

After the evaluation period of six months a decision will be made about continuing the system in a wider scale.

Source: Banco Central del Uruguay

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