On May 26, the Laotian government reportedly hosted the inaugural Ministerial Conference on Blockchain 4.0 Digital Transformation in the country’s capital, Vientiane. The conference, which was led by Laotian Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, was attended by blockchain experts and various leaders from the main economic departments within the country.
Blockchain 4.0 is revolutionizing #Laos. It's driving financial inclusion, fostering transparency, and enhancing security in transactions. Smart contracts and decentralized finance are opening new avenues for growth. Truly, a game-changer for the nation's economy. #MetaBankLaos… pic.twitter.com/oyaAKzFNjk— MetaBank (@MetaBankSG) May 27, 2023
According to a report from Singaporean software company MetaBank, the main focus of the meeting revolved around expediting Laos’ digital transformation by leveraging digital technology. Notably, it introduced the concept of Blockchain 4.0, emphasizing the significance of open collaboration and positioning Laos as a catalyst and beneficiary of the emerging global digital landscape.
MetaBank is a partner organization of the Laotian Ministry of Technology. The two organizations are planning to create a blockchain research and development center to support Laos’ Blockchain 4.0 initiative.
The conference reportedly outlined several goals for Laos’ digital economy development, including using digital technology to generate new fiscal revenue, bolster foreign exchange reserves, curb inflation, foster sustainable economic growth, enhance living standards and boost international competitiveness in the short term. Additionally, the event proposed the formation of a Blockchain Technology Transformation Committee responsible for ensuring legal compliance and drafting legislation pertinent to the digital economy.
During the conference, Siphandone reportedly emphasized the importance of integrating blockchain technology into various government processes and utilizing it extensively for administrative management and public services. He stated that embracing blockchain technology is essential to achieving Laos’ ninth five-year plan for national, economic and social development.
Located in Southeast Asia, Laos has recently taken significant steps to incorporate blockchain and digital technology. In February, Japanese financial software firm Soramitsu signed a memorandum of understanding with the central bank of Laos to launch a proof-of-concept project for a central bank digital currency. Under the project, a digital currency called DLak will be exchanged with commercial banks for fiat currency and used for real-time transactions with participating sellers using a QR code and app. This initiative aims to address the previous delays in digital transactions in Laos, which could take up to a month to clear.