Home / News / India /  Qatar may soon have its own central bank digital currency

Amid a global surge in the popularity of digital currencies, more countries are coming up with their own versions of digital currencies. Like the Reserve Bank of India's plan to have its own cryptocurrency, Qatar is now planning to study it and aims to understand different aspects and verticals of the digital currency.

Alanood Abdullah Al Muftah, the head of the FinTech section at QCB, during the 8th Doha Islamic Finance Conference on Saturday, told The Peninsula that the Gulf country has all the plans to study digital currencies and digital banking.

She said the Qatar government will set the tone for digital currency in the next couple of months. "We’re currently trying to study the different aspects and verticals of fintech. We’re trying to set our direction. In the next couple of months, there will be a greater understanding of the future focus of QCB. Each central bank should study digital banks, considering their growing significance in the global market. We also see the direction of the market moving towards having a digital currency. However, it’s still being studied whether we’re having a digital currency or not."

The Qatar government's vision is in line with an International Monetary Fund (IMF) study, which showed that 76 per cent of central Arab banks are interested in adopting digital currencies and at least two of them will issue digital currencies in the next three years.

What is India's CBDC:-

On the digital currency side, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget 2022 speech had mentioned that India will take the route of Central Bank Sponsored Digital Currency. She said the introduction of CBDC or digital currency, will give a big boost to digital economy.

"Introduction of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) will give a big boost to digital economy. Digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system. It is, therefore, proposed to introduce Digital Rupee, using blockchain and other technologies, to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India starting 2022-23," said the Budget document. A blockchain is basically a digital ledger that records transactions that can be tracked.

The currency, called 'digital rupee', will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in digital form and will be fungible with physical currency. Central bank digital currencies, or (CBDCs) are digital or virtual currencies. They are basically the digital version (in an electronic form) of fiat currencies, for India that would be its domestic currency rupee.

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