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Lebanon Prepares to Launch Digital Currency in LBP to Facilitate Payment

Lebanon Prepares to Launch Digital Currency in LBP to Facilitate Payment

Friday, 30 November, 2018 - 11:30
BDL Governor Riad Salameh, November 15, 2018, at an economic conference in Beirut. (Photo REUTERS / Mohamed Azakir)
Beirut - Ali Zeineddine
Lebanon’s Banque du Liban governor, Riad Salameh, said that preparations were underway to issue a digital currency in the Lebanese pound, to be used locally only.

In comments made at the opening of the Anti-Cybercrime Forum in Beirut, Salameh said that BDL would launch the digital currency for local use only, stressing that the purpose was to simplify payment methods, activate monetary technologies and save the cost on the consumers.

He emphasized that Lebanon must keep up with innovations in electronic transactions.

In a speech during the forum, Dr. Alwaleed Al-Sheikh, Executive Secretary of the MENA Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), warned that cyber-crime was one of the most serious crimes faced by countries and communities in light of the rapid and increasing use of the Internet and the continued evolution of hacking, piracy and fraud technologies. He added that annual losses caused by these crimes exceeded $500 billion.

Al-Sheikh called for “concerted efforts to combat this type of crime through awareness, legislation and measures to develop technical and operational protection systems.”

The Fourth Forum on Combating Cybercrime, which kicked off in Beirut on Thursday, witnessed interventions and discussions between financial, banking and security bodies on technological risks, ways to fortify institutions and fill the gaps through which financial crimes and money laundering are infiltrated.

Salameh explained that electronic transactions in Lebanon have become a daily reality. He added that such transactions have taken a legal nature after Parliament’s adoption of the law of electronic transactions and personal data.

As for Lebanon’s launch of its digital currency, he said: “A team from the Banque du Liban is still preparing to launch the digital currency. It differs from the virtual currencies that BDL had warned against.”

“The digital currency will be issued exclusively by the Banque du Liban in the Lebanese pound and used locally. The aim is to facilitate payment methods, activate the financial technology and save the cost on the consumers,” he added.

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