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Egypt Targets 2030 for the Launch of its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Egypt is gearing up for a significant leap into the future as it targets 2030 for the launch of its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) of the Egyptian Council of Ministers recently unveiled a comprehensive research project outlining key economic directions for Egypt from 2024 to 2030. Titled “The Document on the Most Important Strategic Directions of the Egyptian Economy for the New Presidential Period (2024-2030),” this initiative charts economic and social policies for the specified period.

Recent reports from the Egyptian press shed light on the country’s active pursuit of its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) project, aligning with the government’s broader economic strategy documented for the period from 2024 to 2030. Although the full report is yet to be disclosed to the public, confirmation of the CBDC initiative has been obtained through a government website summarizing its key points, revealing plans for the introduction of the e-Pound by 2030.

Last August, the Central Bank of Egypt had already signaled its intent to implement a CBDC and electronic know your customer (e-KYC) system, as mentioned in the financial stability report for 2022. The primary motivation behind embracing Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is to proactively address the potential adoption of cryptocurrencies within the country. However, with the projected launch set for 2030, some voices suggest that this timeline might be cutting it close.

Egypt is actively engaging with various international organizations in the research phase of its CBDC exploration. Given Egypt’s collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which frequently supports Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) research for many developing economies, it is likely that the IMF is one of the international entities assisting Egypt in this endeavor.

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The country aims to introduce its central bank digital currency, the digital pound, by 2030, as outlined in the study. The primary objectives include bolstering the competitiveness of the national currency and enhancing the efficiency of monetary policy. Egypt has been leveraging digital transformation opportunities to further develop the Egyptian financial sector and elevate levels of monetary policy efficiency.

The document underscores Egypt’s commitment to ongoing development in the financial sector and the utilization of digital transformation to achieve 100 percent financial inclusion by 2030.

In related news, Egypt’s potential entry into BRICS – the trade organization that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – has sparked discussions. BRICS, during its meeting last August, considered adding six new members, including Egypt. There was speculation about BRICS launching a shared digital currency, possibly influenced by Russia. However, a pivot was observed during the meeting, shifting from a shared currency to using local currencies for cross-border payments instead of dollars.

Notably, four of the five founding BRICS members are advanced in developing CBDCs, and these same four countries also appear in Chainalysis’s top 20 for cryptocurrency adoption. Egypt’s involvement in this dynamic landscape signals its commitment to staying at the forefront of global financial advancements.

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