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Lebanon Central Bank to Introduce Digital Currency In 2021

The Lebanese Central Bank plans to introduce a central bank digital currency by 2021 in a bid to restore confidence in the banking sector and move the economy to a cashless system.

Major Development

In a public announcement, the governor of the Lebanese central bank, Raid Salameh encouraged banks to plan on how to restructure their system, including recapitalization by 20%.

Earlier this year, Salameh announced that the central bank is working on a digital currency (CBDC). In a live video speech, Salameh discussed the various new digital initiatives and solutions that will help boost the Lebanese financial sector. In the video, he explained that the first strategy was the launch of Oxygen to create a marketplace for trade finance and investment funds needed for the manufacturing and agriculture sector.

The Lebanese central bank has allocated 100 million USD for the platform and is working to raise $650 million more to be used for the purchase of raw material for the agriculture and manufacturing sector in cooperation with the Ministry of Manufacturing in Lebanon.

The central bank is working on a marketplace where companies in Lebanon or outside Lebanon can raise funds through investments in their bonds or stocks.

Salameh added that Lebanon has no natural resources and gold is an asset hag can be liquidated in foreign markets. To avoid a financial meltdown, it is important that the country looks to other means asides the traditional financial system.

Central Bank Digital Currencies Becoming a Global Commodity

Central banks all around the world are now open to the possibility of launching digital currencies in other respective countries. In recent months, many banks have shown interest in developing digital currencies. In October, Bahamas and Cambodia launched their digital currencies “Sand Dollar” and “Bakong” respectively.

Just last week, the European Union opened a public consultation to seek the opinion of the general public on the possibility of creating a digital euro as an alternative to the euro cash or coins.  Asian giants China has also continued to test run its Digital Yuan in several cities across its nation.

This shows that traditional financial institutions are ready to adapt to the growing threat that has revolutionized the financial sector since the advent of Bitcoin a decade ago.

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