Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to Explore Digital Currency Issuance Options
Banks all over the world are interested in creating cryptos. Now, the central bank of Egypt has decided to start tests for the creation of an electronic version of the Egyptian pound. The story was originally reported by the local media outlet Amwal Al Ghad on December 16.
The sub-governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, Ayman Hussein, has affirmed that the situation was currently being studied to create a national-backed crypto. The announcement was made during a conference in Abu Dhabi yesterday. According to the reports, the Egyptian authorities believe that a blockchain version of the Egyptian fiat currency would diminish costs.
The Central Bank seems to be inspired by other banks around the world that have chosen to emit cryptocurrencies and digital currencies of their own national tokens. However, the bank did clarify whether the tokens will be used for banks trading between themselves only or if customers would also be able to use them.
While Egypt’s stance on crypto has been historically averse to risk and the country does not look Bitcoin in a very positive way, the idea of a national digital currency seems to have some appeal.
If Bitcoin is decentralized and not within the boundaries of the Egyptian law completely and the first big exchange of the country, Bitcoin Egypt, was often not very well regarded in Egypt, these new tokens would be born in a fully regulated way.
While the top cleric of the country has recently taken a very anti-crypto stance in January 2018, affirming that Bitcoin was forbidden by Islam and other prominent figure, an advisor, affirmed that Bitcoin was used for terrorism funding, the truth is that now the government has learned to respect the technology.
Is Bitcoin Compliant With The Shariah?
While discussions in Egypt tend to be focused on the affirmation that Bitcoin is not really compatible with the Shariah, the law of Islam, Indonesia has a different stance, as a fintech of the country has concluded that Bitcoin is generally permissable by the Shariah. Turkey, however, agrees with Egypt: the religious law and the token are incompatible.
It seems like it will certainly be some time before the final decision will be made and, even then, a lot of people will still disagree about the future of Bitcoin in the Islamic world.