Lebanon to launch a digital currency next year

Lebanon plans to introduce a digital currency next year to restore confidence in the banking sector and transition into a cashless system, GovernorRiad Salameh said.

Central bank governor Riad Salameh told a gathering of officials Monday that “We must prepare a Lebanese digital currency project” as a way to shore up confidence in the banking system.

 

“Lebanon doesn’t 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,” Salameh was cited as saying by the state-run National News Agency.

“As for the monetary supply in the Lebanese market, it is estimated that there are $10 billion stored inside homes,” Salameh said, according to the state-run National News Agency.

He also urged banks to begin restructuring, including recapitalization by 20%.

Banque Du Liban, the country’s central bank, has been having this idea of a state-run digital currency since at least 2018. Efforts appear to have accelerated earlier this year after violent protests and silent bank runs brought Lebanon’s financial system to a halt.

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