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Qatar exploring digital banks and central bank digital currencies

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As previously reported, the Qatar Central Bank is looking into the idea of introducing a digital currency. As well as issuing digital bank licences.

According to Alanood Abdullah Al Muftah, the chairman of the QCB’s fintech branch, the central bank is likely to announce its future focus on a variety of fintech verticals soon.

According to Al Muftah, the QCB will assess whether Qatar can develop a digital currency as a central bank (CBDC). She went on to say:

“Because of their expanding importance in the global market, each central bank should research digital banks. The market is likewise heading in the direction of a digital currency. However, whether we will have digital money or not is still under investigation.”

Al Muftah said three payments companies are actively testing solutions with the central bank as part of Qatar’s regulatory sandbox. She also mentioned that the QCB is looking into the possibility of other companies using the regulatory sandbox.

An environment in which fintech companies can test new products and services

A regulatory sandbox is a controlled environment in which fintech companies can test new products, services, business models, and delivery systems in a real-world setting while receiving expedited approval and supervision.

Meanwhile, Dukhan Bank, a private Qatari bank, is looking at the prospect of launching a digital firm in the country, according to Narayanan Srinivasan, the bank’s chief operations and digital officer. Srinivasan, on the other hand, cautioned that his organisation would only establish a digital bank if it had a deeper understanding of its economics. According to the article, Dukhan Bank is looking into blockchain technology for use in the payments business.

Private virtual currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) have risen in popularity and adherents. However, government-backed CBDCs, which are often seen as the polar opposite of private cryptocurrencies, have been rapidly growing in popularity. According to the Atlantic Council, 87 countries are working on their own digital currency as of June 2019. With only 14 having completed the pilot phase. A CBDC has already been adopted by nine countries.

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