Ria Salameh, the governor of the Banque du Liban, the central bank of Lebanon, announced on Thursday, that the bank plans to launch its own digital currency. Conversations addressed whether the project will be based on blockchain technology, but no clear answers have been confirmed.
Since the beginning of the use of cryptocurrencies, over 900 have come in existence. It is no wonder, that any banker might have their concerns about this type of commodity. At the 7th Corporate Social Responsibility Lebanon Forum, Salameh opened by saying:
“a commodity whose prices rise and fall without justification….this reason, BDL banned the use of this currency”
He has also discharged the cryptocurrency as “unregulated” and a danger to existing reimbursement systems. Unfortunately, he’s not wrong. While bitcoin was created with the greatest of intentions, noble systems are often exploited as has happened with bitcoin. The original system is now decentralized and more open to theft and fraud. On a larger market, this cannot be afforded.
Salameh did not deny the idea that currency will eventually become part of the digital age, but before that happens he wants assurance that a protection system has been set in place to avoid cybercrimes. He has witnessed firsthand what has happened to large companies that have used bitcoin and when they tried to regulate it.
While other countries, such as Sweden and China, are exploring their use of blockchain currencies, one of the 900, Salameh’s concerns must not be overlooked.
Salameh said in his report that digital currency would be “available in the next few years.” It sounds like Lebanon has a cautious, thoughtful, yet still progressive governor of banking doing sometimes a hard job: going against the popular vote for the popular good.