June 5, 2024
Qatar Central Bank Begins CBDC Project
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Qatar Central Bank Begins CBDC Project

The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has completed the foundational infrastructure for a central bank digital currency CBDC project and launched the initial phase of an experimental initiative. This project will focus on settlements of large payments among major local and international banks.

Project Details and Technological Focus

While limited details were released, the state news agency indicated that the project will emphasize distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, enhancing liquidity, and transactions with securities. This experimental phase will run through October. The QCB began studying CBDC technology in March 2022 and confirmed the project’s launch in June of the same year. At the Qatar Economic Forum in May, QCB governor Sheikh Bandar bin Mohamed bin Saoud al-Thani stated, “We are in the foundation stage and evaluating the pros and cons of issuing the CBDC.”

Regional and International Context

In the broader regional context, the neighboring United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been proactive in CBDC initiatives. The UAE was a founding member of the mBridge project, along with China, Hong Kong, and Thailand, using mBridge for remittance payments to India and wholesale transfers among members. Additionally, the UAE participated in a CBDC proof-of-concept, Project Aber, with Saudi Arabia, which concluded in 2020.

A day before announcing the CBDC project, the QCB launched a new fintech sandbox, the Express Sandbox, designed to offer a “reduced testing period, rapid testing cycles, and a streamlined overall evaluation process” for eligible participants. Both the sandbox and the CBDC project are part of Qatar’s official national development strategies, although none explicitly mention CBDC.

The Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority, a business development jurisdiction in the country, banned virtual asset services in 2020. In 2023, the Financial Action Task Force criticized Qatar for not enforcing this ban and for a lack of understanding of “more complex forms of money laundering and terrorist financing.”

Source: Hataf News

Rumors and Market Speculation

In March, rumors circulated in the crypto community that the Qatar Investment Authority would make significant investments in Bitcoin (BTC), which was priced at $69,333 at the time. However, there is skepticism regarding the likelihood of this investment.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Disclosure Statement: Miami Crypto does not take any external funding, or support to bring crypto news to the readers. We do not have any conflicts of interest while writing news stories on Miami Crypto.

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