Digital assets are experiencing unprecedented growth across the globe. Not one left behind, Qatar is also gearing up to join the digital asset revolution. The Central Bank of Qatar is trying to enter the world of digital assets in order to digitize every transaction that happens in the country. An official from the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) said the bank is currently looking for digital banking licenses and digital currencies. The study will help QCB get a better understanding of what its focus area should be, according to Alanood Abdullah Al Muftah, the head of the bank’s fintech division.
QCB will also assess whether Qatar can launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC). An article in the English-language daily The Peninsula quoted Al Muftah as saying that the study will examine the different facets and sectors of fintech, and will also examine whether a CBDC is possible for Qatar.
She added that in the coming months the path will become clearer. Right now, the bank is looking at the different fintech elements and verticals and trying to figure out where it wants to go. Over the next few months, we will have a better idea of the future direction of the QCB.
She further stated that they see the market moving towards a digital currency, but added that whether or not they will have a digital currency is still under consideration.
Dukhan Bank, a private Qatari bank, was exploring the possibilities of establishing a digital bank in the country. The same report quotes Narayanan Srinivasan, chief operations and digital officer of Dukhan Bank, who said his institution was considering setting up a digital bank in Qatar, but added that they were “still at the thinking stage”.
While private cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are extremely popular, government-backed CBDCs, which are often seen as the antithesis of these cryptocurrencies, have seen increasing popularity.
A CBDC is a country’s fiat currency in digital form and is operated by the country’s central bank. As of March 2022, 87 countries are considering issuing a CDBC.