Egypt and Cryptocurrency: Central Bank Considering Developing Own Cryptocurrency

Hello, I feel optimistic about writing this piece.

Why? Remember in my article on bitcoin at 10, I concluded that “whatever the future holds for bitcoin, mass adoption was on its way for bitcoin and cryptocurrency at large”.

Well, at this point it is safe to assume that my conclusions are coming to pass.

Egypt and Cryptocurrency

After news of China Russia, Iran and Venezuela developing its own native cryptocurrency, this trend has finally hit the African atmosphere. 

The central bank of Egypt has announced that it is researching around cryptocurrency with a high chance of issuing its own cryptocurrency which would probably be a digital version of the Egyptian pound.

This was disclosed by the central banks sub-governor, Ayman Hussein at a conference in Abu-Dhabi.

The sub-governor said that the country is in partnership with international financial institutions on a quest to create a standard framework for launching the digital currency.

egypt and cryptocurrency

However, Hussein only termed the process as a “feasibility study” but stated that the study outcome could result in the issuance of the Egyptian pound-based virtual currency.

The sub-governor was however silent on if the token would be bank-to-bank like in the scenario of Saudi Arabia and the UAE or between banks and their customers.

Hussein having cited various advantages of digital currencies made notable emphasis on crypto’s benefit of ‘lowering cost of printing and issuing banknotes and also the cost of the use of fiat currencies’.

It is duly of note that the Egyptian fintech space is still emerging with tendencies towards the adoption of cashless policies.

Why This is Surprising News

This latest news by the Egypt central bank comes as a surprise.

The CBE had indeed in January 2018 warned its citizens against dealing in bitcoin.

This move led to the denial of the incorporation and launch of the country’s first crypto exchange called Bitcoin Egypt.

Meanwhile, Egypt former decision on bitcoin and cryptocurrency was suspected to be based on the fact that the country is majorly an Islamic state where Islamic clerics are of the opinion that bitcoin is Haram {which symbolizes anything forbidden by view of the  Islamic law} which is largely based on the fact that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are very speculative and lacks physical dignifying activity.

This recent stance may also be due to increased interest in cryptocurrency by fellow notable Islamic nations like the UAE.

The UAE has been the most notably involved Islamic country in research and moves around crypto and blockchain with its recent development is the proposed issuance of a sharia-compliant cryptocurrency and also a sharia-compliant transaction of bonds on the blockchain.

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have announced a collaboration due for 2019 which is a drive towards a cross-border cryptocoin strictly between the two countries and only suited for inter-bank transaction alone.

It is good and exciting news to see countries that have condemned cryptocurrency starting to take a positive stance on the subject.

However, before getting excited about this particular move Egypt and the crypto space at large, you should be patient enough for the findings of the on-going feasibility study been carried out by the Egyptian government.

What are your thoughts on this move?

Would African countries and their central banks move towards this trend?

Share your thoughts and opinions in the comment box below.


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