Central Bank of Qatar in “Foundation Stage” of Issuing Its Digital Currency

Qatar’s Central bank is exploring technological solutions and platforms to launch its digital currency. Qatar, with a population of 2.8 million, is about to join the growing list of countries adopting the central bank digital currency (CBDC) concept. In the latest development, the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has started the foundation stage of issuing its digital currency.

QCB Governor Sheikh Bandar bin Mohammed bin Saoud Al Thani explained that the bank is currently working to find technological solutions for its digital currency. He said this during the “Inflation Test” session at the Qatar Economic Forum on June 21. Al Thani further specified that the project is still at its early stage. He continued,

“Many central banks are now considering issuing CBDC, and we are not an exception. But we are still in the foundation stage. We are evaluating the pros and cons of issuing CBDC and finding the proper technology and platform to issue our CBDC.”

He added, “Currently, crypto is a technology innovation. It might take us to a new era of fast, cheap, and more accessible financial services. However, those crypto assets which are not underlined by monetary authority might be less credible.”

The reports about the possibility of the Qatar Central Bank exploring opportunities in CBDCs started in March 2022. In that report, Alanood Abdullah Al Muftah, the head of the fintech section of the Qatar Central Bank, revealed that the bank is researching the concept of digital currency due to its global trend. 

Over 100 countries in the world have shown their interest and/or started experimenting and developing CBDCs. The United Arab Emirates, Qatar’s main competitor in the Gulf region, launched its CBDC track back in 2021 as part of its 2023-2026 tech strategy. That same year, the country also announced a joint project involving cross-border CBDC payments with the central banks of China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and the Bank of International Settlements.

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