In this week’s “Money Reimagined” podcast episode, we take the discussion around central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) down from the high-level geopolitical themes we’ve addressed previously and into what the technology can do for people at the grassroots level.

To do so, Sheila Warren and I talked to Serey Chea, director general at National Bank of Cambodia, and Makoto Takemiya, co-CEO of Tokyo-based blockchain technology provider Soramitsu, about Cambodia’s new “bakong” central bank digital currency and payments system.

They provide a thought-provoking look at how small economies can use CBDCs to leapfrog their otherwise underdeveloped financial systems into something far more advanced.

With the financial world obsessing about China’s launch of its new digital yuan and the competitive threat that poses to the U.S, which is now accelerating its work on a digital dollar, this is a reminder that there is real potential to do good with this technology in the realm of financial inclusion.

However, there are real challenges – the impact on the banking system, privacy and security, to name a few. We address all of those and explore where this is going in this far-reaching conversation.

Image credit: Paul Szewczyk via Unsplash modified by CoinDesk