It appears that Morocco is preparing to launch a national cryptocurrency.
On the occasion of this statement, the statement of the “Triple A” company specialized in blockchain technology, which confirmed that, after years of caution and suspicion regarding cryptocurrencies, it seems that the Moroccan financial authorities are determined to open the discussion about these virtual digital assets owned by nearly 1.15 million citizens.
According to the 2022 edition of the “Triple A” report on the adoption of digital currencies around the world, although the use of “digital currencies” was officially banned in Morocco in 2017 as a matter of vigilance, they are increasingly popular with Moroccan investors in these currencies, who give Morocco ranks ninth in the list of African countries.
In light of the continued resort of young investors to these highly speculative virtual currencies that present many risks for the unwary, Bank Al-Maghrib decided to start thinking about a possible issuance of a central bank digital currency under the leadership of a committee comprising all stakeholders. And while the establishment of such a project assumes the conversion of the use of currency under the influence of technology, the professor of economics and finance at Mohammed V University in Rabat, Hisham Sadouq, is still skeptical about the realization of this “huge” project, which remains largely unrealistic for reasons of a cultural and structural nature that also raise questions. On the implications for stability and monetary policy. “The ambition regarding digital currencies is a beautiful ambition, but it is difficult to achieve. As the Bitcoin currency, 13 years after its launch, is not accepted or used for performance except for a little bit, and Bitcoin represents less than 0.1 percent of the volume of transactions around the world.
For an academic interested in the issue of cryptocurrencies, the latter requires a tedious, long and costly series to verify transactions, which makes them more financial assets than currencies, which leads us to distinguish between cryptocurrencies as financial assets, and central bank digital currencies as legal digital currency. It should be noted that cryptocurrencies are private currencies, which have no legal price or physical or financial bond and are completely virtual, and are created, exchanged and traded in secrecy, in isolation from any regulatory body. It also concerns a new monetary material, unprecedented in history.
On the other hand, Mr. Sadouq explained that the digital currency of the Central Bank, on which Bank Al-Maghrib is supposed to operate, constitutes a development in digital and electronic payment systems, with the higher aim of achieving significant profit on the level of transparency and efficiency, encouraging the competitiveness of payment systems, expanding the tax base and stimulating financial inclusion. . On the other hand, the academic recorded that the advantages offered by the digital currency of the central bank are accompanied by concerns about respect for the rights and freedoms of its competitors, who see a potential possibility to increase the ability of some actors to abuse their power to monitor performance and financial transactions. Moreover, he highlighted that some market players consider cryptocurrencies as a new asset class that enables diversification and the search for the best pair for return and risk, noting that it also represents a negative correlation with some asset classes.
It is noteworthy that the Wali of Bank Al-Maghrib, Abdellatif Jouahri, presented, during a press conference following the second quarterly meeting of the Bank’s Board last June, a report on the work of the committee ad hoc to establish an appropriate regulatory framework that enables innovation, technology and consumer protection to be combined at the same time.
During this occasion, Mr. Al-Jawahiry announced the issuance of a draft law aimed at regulating the use of cryptocurrencies.
Although it is allowed to be used in most financial systems around the world, some countries, such as China, categorically prohibit the trading of cryptocurrencies, while other countries only place some restrictions, and El Salvador and Central Africa are the only countries currently that have officially allowed the adoption of Bitcoin. as the currency of the state.