The Central Bank of Qatar (QCB) will be looking to set its foot into digital finance technologies.
Based on a report by a local news outlet, the QCB has started its efforts to evaluate the proper implementation of digital currencies and FinTech solutions in the Middle Eastern country.
The initiative was announced at the Doha Islamic Finance Conference by Alanood Abdullah Al Muftah, who is Head of QCB’s FinTech Section. According to her, Qatar’s FinTech Hub, or "sandbox", will be piloting digital finance solutions in the payments sector in collaboration with the QBC.
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Al Muftah spoke on the recent decision to explore blockchain technologies and their implementation into the financial sector of Qatar, stating:
"The direction will be clearer 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 greater understanding about the future focus of QCB."
Likewise, Dukhan Bank’s Chief of Operations and Digital Officer Narayanan Srinivasan supported the statement by Al Muftah, affirming that his bank is also making its own research into digital finance, with initiatives like the launch of an e-kiosk to be released this year. However, he was skeptical about rushing into blockchain technologies, stating:
"We need to figure out the economics behind it. Unfortunately, there are not too many use cases, either in the form of success or failure, for us to quickly decide that this is something that we can do. We need to figure out how do we actually take this to the market."
Middle Eastern countries and cities have been on the rise of adopting blockchain technologies, with the Kingdom of Bahrain and Dubai being at the forefront. Bahrain has already implemented JPMorgan’s Coin System and has recently fully licensed Binance to operate within the country.