Iran Embraces Blockchain Technology while Egypt Considers a State-Backed Cryptocurrency
While the cryptocurrency bear market shows no signs of slowing down, countries across the world are swiftly exploring the potential of blockchain technology and virtual currencies. Joining the legion of blockchain “friendly” nations are Iran and Egypt, who have both voiced their intentions to deploy the disruptive technology in a controlled capacity as per reports on December 16, 2018.
Embracing Blockchain to Augment Economy
Government official Alireza Daliri, head of management for the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology in Iran, believes blockchain technology can augment the local economy by “empowering” the blockchain infrastructure with help from both the government and private sectors.
As reported by local publication Tehran Times, Daliri noted the world’s fast-paced approach towards rising technologies like blockchain calls for a collaborative effort towards the development of the broader ecosystem. He claims that 140 countries already benefit from blockchain-based processes and applications in some manner, with the positives of using such a framework far outweighing the negatives.
Daliri ascertained that his team would deploy blockchains in “different fields in the near future” to help decrease bureaucratic inefficiencies. He added that all official help would be implemented to support the efforts of local entrepreneurs and blockchain startups.
Meanwhile, interest in the technology from creators and investors is evident. Iran’s premier engineering school, the Sharif University of Technology, announced in early-December 2018 regarding the development of the first blockchain-based ride-hailing application in the region.
Egypt Looks Towards the Chain
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is conducting studies for issuing a state-backed cryptocurrency in the future. CBE sub-governor Ayman Hussein confirmed the development in a conference early last week, reported Amwalalgad on December 16, 2018.
Some feasibility studies in conjecture with “a number of” international financial institutions and banks are already in order. However, Hussein did not disclose any names related to the project and did not specify if the digital tokens would be issued for everyday use or be specific to banking institutions for private dealings like payments and remittances.
Issuing a digital currency is in line with the Egyptian government’s push to encourage online payments and transform the economy into a cashless society. Thus far, most efforts have been futile, as the predominantly cash-based economy has a cultural fascination with paper- and metal-based forms of money.
The CBE’s comments come after the Europe Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum (EUBF) released a detailed report aimed at government institutions realizing the potential of blockchain technology and focusing on two aspects to augment growth: Building digital identity systems and digital versions of their national currencies.