Lebanon’s Central Bank Bans Cryptocurrency

Riad Salameh, the governor of the Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, reported that his institution has banned the use of cryptocurrencies, according to an article in the Lebanese periodical The Daily Star. He made the announcement on October 26 at the seventh gathering of the Corporate Social Responsibility Lebanon Forum, saying, “These [tokens] are not currencies but rather a commodity whose prices rise and fall without any justification. For this reason, BDL has banned the use of this currency in the Lebanese market.”

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, he related, remain a significant threat to consumers and payment systems. However, thanks to some $43.5 billion in reserves backing the Lebanese pound, he feels confident that his nation’s fiat currency will be able to weather any threats posed by the digital assets.

At the same conference, he announced that the BDL would, in the next few years, be releasing its own digital currency in compliance with Lebanese law, although he did not specify whether this store of value would be a true cryptocurrency.

Before such a currency is ready to be released to the public, he said, the Special Banking Commission and the Banking Control Commission will collaborate to develop an anti-cybercrime system in order to protect its would-be users.