Category Archives: Central Bank of Egypt

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Central Bank of Egypt Announces $57 Million Fintech Startup Fund

Central Bank of Egypt Announces  Million Fintech Startup Fund

Digital news outlet Disrupt Africa has reported that the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has announced a financial tech fund worth EGP 1 billion (USD 1 million) to help boost startups in the industry nationwide.

The deputy governor of the CBE, Ayman Hussein, was quoted as saying that there was no formal launch date decided yet, but that would be part of a multi-pronged approach by the local government to support the growth of fintech enterprise in the African nation. He made the announcement in a recent Arab African Forum held in Aswan.

With the Egyptian goverment as a partner, digital finance startups and research and development of financial services would be supported in a common goal to establish Egypt as a recognized fintech hub in the The fund, which is being set up in partnership with the Egyptian government, will support digital finance startups and fund research in the financial services space with the aim of establishing the country as a fintech hub.

“We are also creating a new application laboratory for innovative financial technologies which would be used to test new applications,” said Hussein.

Recently, the same news source reported that the Commercial International Bank had launched CVentures in the country, aiming to be a corporate venture capital entity making investments in fintech startups and new generation platforms for neo financial services.

The CBE also is looking into establishing a cybersecurity center for the banking industry at the end of 2019. Hussein sais that the government was keen to harness local potential, recognizing that it has “success factors” that led it to become a groundbreaker in fintech. He cited “the strong demand for financial services, the banking sector, telecommunications companies, electronic payment companies, insurance companies, regulators, incubators, business accelerators, investors and SMEs” as evidence of this.

In December, CBE, also through Hussein, informed of an ongoing feasibility study by the central bank to determine the viability of a central bank digital currency, possibly leading to an Egyptian pound-based cryptocurrency.


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Egypt Central Bank Considers Crypto

Egypt’s Central Bank Considers Cryptocurrency

Egypt’s central bank revealed in a conference in Abu Dhabi yesterday, as reported by news outlet Amwal Al Ghad, that it is doing a study on cryptocurrency.

The Central Bank of Egypt‘s sub-governor for payment systems and information Ayman Hussein says the bank is conducting a research in collaboration with an undisclosed number of international financial institutions to develop a framework on how to issue digital currencies. Hussein calls it an ongoing “feasibility study”. This may likely lead to the issuing of an Egyptian pound-based cryptocurrency.

Hussein did not disclose the other parties involved in the studies, neither was any detail about the expectations revealed – whether it would be a bank-to-bank cryptocurrency based system as in the case of UAE or between banks and their clients.

According to the media outlet, Hussein refers to digital currency as having “several benefits” to include “lowering the cost of banknote issuance and use of cash”.

The Egyptian fintech market has been described as an emerging market as tendencies towards a cashless society are imminent alongside economic reforms in the country. A while back, IBM’s General Manager in Egypt Wael Abdoush said that “the entire world talks about this technology, so it is natural that it receives attention in Egypt”.

Egypt continues to expose itself to more fintech reform templates from around the globe and continues in this direction in the bid to achieve a cashless society. In recent times, it has taken significant moves towards achieving financial inclusion in a world so rapidly changing in the wake of a fintech revolution through blockchain.

Although, rather than throw caution to the wind, it took up a stance of anti-cryptocurrency when in January of this year, the Central Bank of Egypt warned against dealing in Bitcoin, following an official religious edict that considers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as haram (forbidden).

Perhaps the thoughts about cryptocurrency markets in Egypt were being reconsidered as a result of the sporadic increase in the development and a possibility of regulation of blockchain ventures in other Islamic countries. Such development includes UAE performing its first Sharia-compliant bond transaction on the blockchain, and a proposed deployment of a Sharia-compliant cryptocurrency exchange.

In Saudi Arabia, cross-border cryptocurrency framework is currently being considered in collaboration with UAE.


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