Qatar Central Bank Announces Launch of Digital Currency Project

The Qatar Central Bank in Doha. (Reuters)
The Qatar Central Bank in Doha. (Reuters)
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Qatar Central Bank Announces Launch of Digital Currency Project

The Qatar Central Bank in Doha. (Reuters)
The Qatar Central Bank in Doha. (Reuters)

The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) launched on Sunday its Digital Currency Project (CBDC), which aims to settle large payments with a group of local and international banks, the bank said in a statement carried by the Qatari state news agency, QNA.

The CBDC was launched after successfully completing the comprehensive study of the project.

It will serve as a proactive step to keep pace with the rapid global developments in this field.

The Central Bank explained that after successfully completing the comprehensive study conducted in this field, it will proceed with testing and developing selected applications for the CBDC to settle large payments with a group of local and international banks in a trial environment designed according to the latest advanced technologies.

The project will focus on the applications of the CBDC to increase access to capital markets for operating banks in the country, enhance domestic settlement, and improve the efficiency of securities transactions, the Bank’s statement noted.

This project, which will enter its first experimental phase extending to October 2024, aims to also achieve a set of primary objectives, including leveraging artificial intelligence technologies, distributed ledger technology (DLT), and emerging technologies and establish a strong foundation to enhance liquidity by expanding participation in financial market facilities, considering the aspects related to information security during project implementation.

The start of the CBDC project represents an important milestone and a strategic step towards building a digital economy in the country, QCB said.

It then reaffirmed its continuous commitment to introducing distinguished and valuable initiatives that will help create a conducive environment for the growth of the financial sector, stimulate the widespread adoption of emerging technologies, and promote technological innovations across various fields.

Last April, the United Arab Emirates prepared to complete the first phase of its central bank digital currency strategy. The Digital Dirham aims to address the obstructions of domestic and cross-border payments, enhance financial inclusion and the move towards a cashless society.

In 2019, Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) and Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) announced a joint digital currency initiative named Project Aber.

The two banks said Aber will be used as a settlement unit for domestic as well as cross-border commercial bank transactions between the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The joint digital currency plan is only for the use of banks participating in “Aber” project, and will not be available for individuals.



Arab Parliament, World Bank Discuss Development in Arab Countries

The World Bank logo. (File/Asharq Al-Awsat Ar)
The World Bank logo. (File/Asharq Al-Awsat Ar)
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Arab Parliament, World Bank Discuss Development in Arab Countries

The World Bank logo. (File/Asharq Al-Awsat Ar)
The World Bank logo. (File/Asharq Al-Awsat Ar)

Arab Parliament Speaker Adel bin Abdulrahman Al-Asoumi has met with World Bank President Ajay Banga in Washington, D.C. to discuss ways to strengthen relations and the development of Arab countries.
Al-Asoumi said that developing the human capital is an important, and urgent, priority for Arab countries, and a foremost concern for both the Arab Parliament and the World Bank. It is the basis for joint work toward development, SPA reported.
The General Secretariat of the Arab Parliament in Cairo said that Al-Asoumi indicated that Arab countries have great development needs in many areas where the World Bank plays an important role, noting that the difficult humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip requires urgent intervention in many areas of development, notably health and education. A number of constructive proposals were also given for consideration by the World Bank.