Palestine's monetary authority is reportedly looking to create its own digital currency.
Reuters reported today that, according to Azzam Shawwa, head of the Palestinian Monetary Authority, the State of Palestine is weighing a “bitcoin-style solution” to its lack of a central currency. As Reuters points out, a mix of US dollars, euros and other regional currencies are used by Palestinians instead.
It's the absence of a Palestinian currency and the hurdles that stand in the way of launching one that appears to have drawn the Monetary Authority's attention toward a wholly digital solution. For example, according to Shawwa, the authority – which acts as the region's de facto central bank – doesn't have the ability to issue its own currency, due to the agreement that led to its establishment.
"It will be called the Palestinian pound," Shawwa told the publication.
He later suggested that it might be backed by some kind of commodity, mentioning "reserves, gold, oil" as possible assets to underlie the currency.
If launched, it could provide much-needed digital payment rails for those living in the Palestinian territories. And as outlets reported last September, services such as PayPal have refused to service the Palestinian market.
While it's not clear at this time when the digital currency would be launched, Reuters indicated that the Palestinian Monetary Authority wants to see a debut in the next five years.
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