CBB mulls digital dinar

Manama : Bahrain is toying with the idea of introducing a ‘digital dinar’, Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Governor Rasheed Mohamed Al Maraj has said. 

‘Digital dinar’ is one of the ideas the CBB is currently studying, said CBB governor Rasheed Mohamed Al Maraj. 

He told DT News that the study is in a rudimentary stage. “This is just an idea that we are discussing, it’s not been confirmed. We like to examine everything that is going around.  It is at an early stage, we are trying to understand how it will work and how it will affect the current situation in the country,” he told DT News without giving any further details.  He said that CBB may license more digital banks after Meem, a subsidiary of GIB, became the first digital bank to get a license in Bahrain. “They offer complete digital banking without having conventional branches, rather everything is done through smartphones and PCs,” he said about digital banks. At an event organized by C5 Accelerate last week he told finance professionals, entrepreneurs and government officials that CBB is studying various initiatives including the digital dinar.

“We have to distinguish the difference between cryptocurrency and digital currency. Digital currency is just taking the currency from paper-form to digital. We are examining this, how to have a digital dinar. We are thinking about this because we are thinking about the ways add value to the society and drive down the costs,” he said. 

“If it is easier for the public and the businesses to have a digital dinar to transact from a smartphone, then we have to consider it,” he said. 

He also said he wants to see more ‘disrupters’ from the private sector bringing digital payment solutions. “I want to see more solutions like this in Bahrain where people can pay using their phone,” he said, adding, “If there is an industry that can change the economy of Bahrain, it is the financial sector. Oil did it for Bahrain in the thirties and forties, now if we cannot do the same with the financial sector then I don’t know what will,” he said.



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