Lebanon’s central bank has announced plans to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in 2021. The goal is to restore confidence in the banking sector” and digitize payments system. The Central Bank of Lebanon intends to launch a digital currency next year to increase confidence in the banking sector and move to a cashless payment system. According to Bloomberg, the announcement was made by the governor of the central bank Riad Salameh.
Lebanon will launch central bank digital currency
Salameh also called on the country’s banks to begin restructuring, including an increase in capitalization by 20%.
“Lebanon does not have any natural resources and we have to keep the gold because its an asset that could be liquidated in foreign markets if we face an inevitable, fateful crisis,” he added.
A year ago, against the backdrop of massive protests against corruption in the country, local banks suspended their activities. Lebanese-American Nassim Taleb, author of the economic bestseller Black Swan, then said that this is the best argument in favor of cryptocurrencies.
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He later returned to the example of his home country and noted that cryptocurrencies can no longer be ignored, especially in the face of the declining trust of people in the banking system and governments.
As a result of the protests, Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned from office. The country also plunged into a deep economic and financial crisis. The national currency depreciated by 60% and the national debt soared to $90 billion. However, the popularity of bitcoin among the country’s residents has grown.
Recall that Riad Salameh back in 2017 announced the regulator’s plans to issue a national digital currency.
No urgent need for Norway to launch CBDC
Central banks around the world have shown interest in CBDCs, and many of them are working actively on the same. For example, China has released a mobile test app that supports the People’s Bank of China (PBOC)’s digital yuan project. The Bank of Japan (BoJ) has also drafted a plan for a CBDC and it will start testing ‘as early as possible’ in April 2021.
However, the Deputy governor at Norway’s central bank, Ayda Walden Bache has said there is no urgent need to launch a CBDC. According to Bache, the decline in the popularity of cash does not justify a complete and urgent transition to CBDC