Lebanon Central Bank Announces Plans to Launch Digital Currency

Lebanon Central Bank Announces Plans to Launch Digital Currency

In a recent blog post, New York University professor Aswath Damodaran, known as the “dean of valuations,” argued that bitcoin isn’t an asset, but a currency that “cannot be valued.” Separately, he pointed out that bitcoin’s best path is to make it as a digital currency that people can take with them wherever they go, or else it might not have the staying power of gold.

Lebanon’s central bank governor, Riad Salameh, recently announced that the country’s central bank, Banque du Liban (BDL), is planning on launching its own digital currency. It isn’t clear whether the bank’s digital currency will use blockchain technology or another form of technology such as IOTA’s tangle.

According to local publication The Daily Star, Salameh is bullish on digital currencies being the future of money and stated that Banque du Liban needs to first make the “necessary arrangements” before taking the digital currency development step it plans on taking.

The system’s protection against cybercrime was pointed out as a concern, so much so that Salameh said the country’s Special Investigation Commission and the Banking Control Commission were cooperating on preventing it.

The governor added that the new, seemingly still unnamed digital currency will fall under Lebanese law, but didn’t add further details, nor did he provide a timeline for the creation of the centralized currency.

Salameh also took advantage of the opportunity, while speaking at the 7th Corporate Social Responsibility Lebanon Forum, to undermine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by stating that they were a threat to consumers and payment systems. He stated:

“These [bitcoin] are not currencies but rather a commodity whose prices rise and fall without any justification. For this reason, BDL has banned the use of this currency in the Lebanese market. 

The Daily Star points out that Salameh then reiterated that the Lebanese pound isn’t at risk, “thanks to the $43.5 billion in foreign reserves held by the BDL.” He added that the objective of the central bank’s financial architecture is to protect the Lebanese economy, in an odd, seemingly out of context defense of the bank’s role in the country.

The Lebanese government has in the past issued a warning discouraging the use of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, using volatility, irreversible transactions, and the lack of a financial authority as their arguments against it – just like any other central bank.

BDL’s new centralized digital currency, according to reports, will “be available in the next few years.”  Kazakhstan, as reported by Core Media, is also going to launch its own fiat-backed cryptocurrency in the future.

While various countries attempt to undermine bitcoin and launch their own centralized digital currencies instead of adopting and regulating the number one cryptocurrency, a Cameroonian secessionist state should use bitcoin as its national currency to guarantee freedom and prosperity in the future.