Blockchain for Banking News

Egypt targets CBDC by 2030 to head off crypto

cbdc egypt digital pound

Egyptian press reports say Egypt is progressing with a central bank digital currency (CBDC) project. The news comes as part of a government economic strategy document from 2024 to 2030. While the report has yet to be made available to the public, Ledger Insights confirmed the news via a government website summarizing the contents. It briefly states the e-Pound is planned by 2030.

Meanwhile, in August last year, the Central Bank of Egypt published the financial stability report for 2022. At the time, it stated it was in the process of implementing a CBDC and electronic know your customer (e-KYC). The primary motivation for CBDC is to head off cryptocurrency adoption. However, if it only launches in 2030, that might be too late. Egypt is engaging with several international organizations regarding the CBDC and is currently in the research phase.

As Egypt receives aid from the IMF, which helps numerous developing economies with CBDC research, the IMF likely is one of those international organizations.

BRICS, CBDC and Egypt

In related news, BRICS – the trade organization that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – plans to add six new members, including Egypt. There was much talk about BRICS launching a shared digital currency, perhaps fueled by Russia. During the BRICS meeting last August, there was a pivot from a shared currency to using local currency for cross border payments rather than dollars.

Four of the five founding BRICS members are advanced in developing CBDCs. The same four also appear in Chainalysis’s top 20 for cryptocurrency adoption. 

China is a member of the mBridge cross border CBDC project, which enables efficient cross border payments without using the dollar as an intermediate currency. An mBridge status update last October revealed that the Central Bank of Egypt was amongst 23 observer central banks.

Amongst other BRICS members, India has advanced pilots for both retail and wholesale digital rupee and is working on cross-border CBDC with the UAE. The latter is amongst the four founding mBridge participants and one of the six planned new BRICS members.

Russia recently started CBDC trials with cross border CBDC high on the agenda. And Brazil has its DREX wholesale CBDC project.

Update: The first version of the headline said 2024 rather than 2030