The bank is looking for technological solutions and platforms to use for its own digital currency.
Qatar Central Bank Digital Currency in the Foundation Stage
Qatar, the 2.8-million people country, is joining the growing list of countries that are experimenting with the central bank digital currency (CBDC) idea. The Qatar Central Bank is in the initial stage, also known as the foundation, of issuing its digital currency.
During the inflation test session on 21st June at the Qatar Economic Forum, the governor of the Qatar Central Bank, Sheikh bin Mohammed bin Saoud Al Thani, explained that the bank is looking for the best tech solution for its CBDC. Right now, the project is in the early stages.
“Many central banks are now considering issuing CBDC, and we are not an exception to that. But we are still in the foundation stage. We are evaluating the pros and cons of issuing CBDC and to find the proper and the right technology and platform to issue our CBDC,” Al Thani explained.
At the moment, Thani argued that the crypto innovation might take us to a new era of fast, cheap, and more accessible financial services. However, there are crypto-assets not underlined by the monetary authority and are likely to be less credible, according to the central bank governor.
Initial reports about the Qatar Central Bank exploring the possibility of issuing CBDC were revealed back in 2022. Back then, the leader of the fintech section at the Qatar Central Bank, Alanood Abdullah Muftah, and the bank was exploring the concept because of the emerging global trend.
Now, over 100 countries have expressed interest or have already started researching and creating their CBDCs. The main competitor to Qatar in the Gulf is the United Arab Emirates, which launched its CBDC roadmap in 2021 as part of its 2023-2026 tech strategy.
Still, in 2021 UAE unveiled its joint project targeting cross-border CBDC payments with the central banks of Hong Kong, Thailand, China, and the Bank of International Settlements.