Central Bank of Lebanon to launch digital currencies soon: Salameh

Central Bank of Lebanon Governor Riad Salameh announced Thursday that Banque du Liban will soon launch digital currencies as a recognized form of official transactions soon.

In comments made at the opening of the Anti-Cybercrime Forum at the Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut, Salameh said, “BDL will launch the digital currency for local use only, and the purpose is to facilitate payment methods, activate monetary technologies and save the cost on the consumers,” local news channel MTV reported.

BDL currently explicitly forbids cryptocurrencies as a form of payment or settlement, instead regarding them as commodities to be invested in, stored or exchanged, similar to gold.

But the digital currencies that BDL will soon adopt, Salameh explained, are different from cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Salameh said Lebanon must keep up with innovations in electronic transactions, and also that banks should have bigger budgets than they do now.

The forum was not the first time Salameh has made such comments. He previously emphasized the need for Lebanon’s Central Bank to stay up to date electronically in order to facilitate the circulation of cash money, as well as transition smoothly toward the inevitable widespread use of digital currencies.