Amidst CBN’s crypto ban, Morocco’s central bank considers launching own digital currency

A Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is the digital form of a country's fiat currency that is also a claim on the central bank.

Morocco’s central bank, Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM), is considering launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC), according to CoinDesk.

A Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is the digital form of a country’s fiat currency that is also a claim on the central bank. Instead of printing money, the central bank issues electronic coins or account backed by the full faith and credit of the government

This is in sharp contrast with Nigerian government’s acceptance of digital currencies in the country following recent ban of crypto asset trading through Nigerian bank accounts by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The financial website reported recently that BAM has set up a committee to investigate the pros and cons of a CBDC, four years after banning cryptocurrencies.

The committee will seek to identify and analyse the advantages and drawbacks of CDBCs for the Moroccan economy.

Previously, Morocco expressed concern about the lack of regulation of cryptocurrencies and warned that the use of virtual currencies entailed significant risk for users.

Although bitcoin was banned for use in Morocco four years ago, the cryptocurrency continues to thrive in the country, with Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya being the only African countries with more trading volume, CoinDesk reports.

Cryptocurrencies have drawn widespread attention since the success of bitcoin, which today stands at a total value of almost US$1 trillion (R14.83 trillion).

This year alone bitcoin has gained 81 percent in value, with a single bitcoin now priced at over half a million dirhams (roughly US$56,000).

In a BTC Manager article dated February 21, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) revealed that more than 80% of central banks around the world, including the US Federal Reserve, were revisiting the concept of CBDCs, with several of these studies already progressing to the pilot phase.

The article also revealed that China remains the front runner in the CBDC race, having successfully tested its digital currency in several provinces, with transactions surpassing US$300 million.