The central bank hopes to set a direction soon for its future outlook, especially in various fintech columns.
Information that the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) is considering the possibility of issuing digital currency and issuing digital banking licenses.
According to Alanood Abdullah Al Muftah, head of the fintech division at QCB, who hopes that the central bank will soon give direction to the future focus on the range of fintech verticals.
Al-Muftah said the QCB would decide whether Qatar can establish a central bank digital currency (CBDC) or not.
“Each central bank should study digital banks, considering their growing significance in the global market. We also see the direction of the market moving toward having a digital currency. However, it’s still being studied whether we’re having a digital currency or not.”
Commenting on the Qatar regulatory sandbox, Al Muftah said three companies in the payment sector were currently testing their solutions with the Central Bank. Furthermore, the QCB was considering other companies interested in using the regulatory sandbox.
Regulatory Sandbox allows Fintech companies to test new products, services, business models, and delivery mechanisms in a real-world setting and take advantage of rapid approval and supervisory monitoring.
Meanwhile, Dukhan Bank, a private bank in Qatar, is exploring ways of creating a digital bank in Qatar, said its chief operations and digital officer Narayanan Srinivasan. Srinivasan, however, warned that they would build a digital bank only after their company had a good understanding of economics. According to the report, Dukhan Bank is also looking at blockchain technology in the payment division.
While the private virtual currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) have grown in popularity and followers, government-backed CBDCs, which are considered anti-private cryptocurrencies, are also accelerating on the other hand. As of June 2019, 87 countries are currently developing their own digital currencies, while only 14 of them have completed the pilot phase. While until now only nine countries have implemented the CBDC.
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