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Egyptian Central Bank Shoots Down Bitcoin Adoption Rumor

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:58 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:58 PM

The deputy governor of the Egypt’s central bank has squashed speculation of the Egyptian banks handling or dealing with bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

Catching fire across social media, the rumors suggested that the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) was considering the possibility of allowing banks across the country to recognize and handle digital currencies like bitcoin. However, CBE deputy governor Lobna Helal has denied the speculation and subsequent reports.

In a statement to Arabian economics portal Amwal Al Ghad last month, Helal stated:

For stability of the Egyptian banking system, the banks deal with the official currencies only, and never deal with any virtual currencies.

Similar comments  were made by Gamal Negm, another deputy governor, pointing to a categoric refusal of accepting any digital currencies whilst only recognizing official currencies.

The officials’ statements come at a time where a number of countries around the world are trying to determine legal and regulatory frameworks for state-averse, decentralized digital currencies. Japan is a notable example of a country proactively introducing legislation to acknowledge and deem digital currencies like bitcoin as a legal method of payment. Philippine’s central bank also issued regulations for bitcoin exchanges earlier this year, a move which fundamentally recognizes and legalizes bitcoin activity in the country.

Also noteworthy is Russia, which has – in the space of a year – changed stances from proposing imprisonment for bitcoin adopters to publicly talk about regulating and legalizing bitcoin and other digital currencies. India, a country rapidly switching over to cashless payments, is also contemplating a legal framework for digital currencies. If recognized and regulated, bitcoin and other digital currencies will gain further momentum in adoption among a population of over a billion people.

Central Bank of Egypt image from Shutterstock.