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Qatar Central Bank Launches CBDC Pilot

Qatar Cbdc

Completing the infrastructure for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) project, the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) also started the first phase of an experimental initiative. The QCB will review sizable settlements among several local and foreign institutions.

The project had few public announcements of specifics. According to the state news agency, its priorities would be distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, improving liquidity, and securities transaction enhancement. October will pass for the project.

The QCB said it was starting a project in June of that year after starting research on CBDC technology in March 2022. Press reports state that QCB governor Sheikh Bandar bin Mohamed bin Saoud al-Thani said at the Qatar Economic Forum in May, “We are in the foundation stage and evaluating the pros and cons of issuing the CBDC.”

Related: CBDC Anti-Surveillance Bill Passes in House

Along with China, Hong Kong, and Thailand, the nearby United Arab Emirates (UAE) was a founding member of the mBridge initiative. Remittance payments to India and wholesale transfers among the mBridge project members have already been sent using mBridge. The UAE also engaged Saudi Arabia in a CBDC proof-of-concept project known as Project Aber, which runs until 2020.

The QCB opened a new fintech sandbox one day before the CBDC project was announced. For qualified participants, the Express Sandbox presents a “reduced testing period, rapid testing cycles, and a streamlined overall evaluation process.” Though none of the official national development strategies specifically address CBDC, the CBDC initiative was touted as part of the new sandbox.

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