Egypt is reportedly on track to introduce its own central bank digital currency (CBDC), known as the e-pound, by 2030. This initiative, led by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the country’s national currency and improving the effectiveness of its monetary policy.
A report detailing Egypt’s strategic economic directions for the upcoming presidential period (2024-2030) highlights the introduction of the e-pound as a key goal. This report, commissioned by the Egyptian Council of Ministers’ Information and Decision Support Center, outlines essential policies for the country’s economic development over the next six years. One of the highlighted aims is to achieve full financial inclusion in Egypt by 2030, with the launch of the CBDC playing a pivotal role in this endeavour.
In parallel, the report emphasises the importance of continued development in the financial sector. This development is seen as complementary to the introduction of the e-pound, both contributing towards the overarching goal of complete financial inclusion.
Sayed Khedr, an economic expert in Egypt, has expressed strong support for the e-pound, citing its advantages over privately issued digital currencies like Bitcoin. According to Khedr, the anonymity and uncertain origins of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin raise concerns about their security. In contrast, a digital currency issued by a reputable central bank such as the CBE would offer significantly higher security.
Khedr also addressed concerns regarding the impact of the CBDC on physical banknotes, assuring that the introduction of the e-pound would not lead to a decrease in the circulation of traditional currency. He further suggested that if effectively marketed, the e-pound has the potential to indirectly bolster the Egyptian economy.