The Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) has reacted strongly to reports that it has launched a blockchain-based E-dinar using Russian blockchain platform Universa, stating that the news was based on “unfounded information”. Russian media outlet Tass reported last week that the country’s central bank had launched the digital currency using the John McAfee-promoted platform, but BCT has said this is not the case, and the token activity surrounding the back and forth suggests that something more sinister could be at hand.
BCT Cuts Rumors Down to Size
Tass had initially reported that, following a successful test, E-dinars were able to be transferred between citizens with a further rollout anticipated in 2020. However, the BCT has issued a strict denial of this suggestion, stating that it “refutes all these allegations and unfounded information”, offering to “clarify the ambiguities mentioned” in the reports. These clarifications include:
- The BCT is currently assessing all alternatives to the digitization of the economy and is currently in a “phase of reflection”
- The BCT is still “studying the opportunities and risks” inherent in within digital currencies, including “cyber security and financial stability”
- The BCT has not engaged in relationships of any kind with any digital currency providers, foreign or national
- A proof-of-concept test at the FOREX Tunisia Club was taken out of context
The BCT also mentioned that it is launching a regulatory sandbox in 2020 that “remains open to all technological innovations in the banking and financial sector”, which suggests that, despite the denials of the Universa tie in, progress is nevertheless being made in the digitization of the economy.
Is This an Exit Pump I See Before Me?
On the day of the Tass report, Bitcoin “thought leader” Richard Heart published a short interview with Universa founder Alexander Borodich, who had no problem discussing the E-dinar/Universa ‘deal’ as an example of the prowess of the Universa project, despite the fact that there was no deal, as he would have (presumably) been well aware. Coincidentally, or not, Universa’s UTNP token leapt 190% on the ‘news’, having already jumped over 200% just days before, following 10 months of downtrend. If one were to take the cynical view, it could be suggested that a certain group of people worked with another group of people to create some fake news and artificially pump the price by almost 400% in the space of a few days, allowing the mass sale of tokens at an inflated value. Such activity fits the criteria of an exit pump almost to tee, so it will be interesting to see what happens to the project, and Borodich, from here.