Qatar Central Bank in foundation stage of issuing CBDC, says Governor

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Key Takeaways

  • The Governor stated that QCB is currently evaluating the pros and cons of issuing CBDC.
  •  He further noted that crypto assets that are not underlined by monetary authority might prove to be less credible.

 Qatar Central Bank(QCB) is the latest monetary authority to express interest in issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). According to the central bank’s Governor, Sheikh Bandar bin Mohammed bin Saoud Al Thani QCB is in the foundation stage of and is working on finding the right technology and platform.

The Governor was speaking at the Qatar Economic Forum on a session called ‘The Inflation Test’. The QCB governor stated that many central banks are now considering issuing CBDC, and Qatar bank is not an exception of that. He added that they are currently evaluating the pros and cons of issuing CBDC. 

Commenting on the potential of digital currencies, the Governor said digital currencies are a technological innovation that usher in a new era of fast, cheap, and more accessible financial services. He further added that crypto assets that are not underlined by monetary authority might prove less credible.

According to the latest Bank of International Settlements(BIS) report, 90% of central banks surveyed recently are doing some form of work on wholesale or retail CBDCs. The Atlantic Council states at present, 105 countries, representing over 95% of the global GDP, are exploring a CBDC. As many as ten countries have fully launched a digital currency, while 19 of the G20 countries are exploring a CBDC. Another Middle-Eastern country, the United Arab Emirates, launched its CBDC track as a part of its 2023–2026 tech strategy last year.

In the same year, UAE also announced a joint project of cross-border CBDC payments with the central banks of Thailand, Hong Kong, and China, as well as BIS. The Bank of Israel had recently expressed its interest in CBDCs by stating that the CBDC architecture is assumed to have several benefits, including less financial risk for the customer, more liquidity, lower costs, increased competition, and wider access. China is currently testing its own digital currency, eCNY. Jamaica’s central bank has recently officially recognized the “Jam-Dex” central bank digital currency as legal tender, becoming the first country to do so. 

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Saniya Raahath
Saniya Raahath

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