Palestine is the latest part of the world making headlines for talking about developing its own national digital currency, the digital Palestinian pound. Last week, at the annual European Bank for Reconstruction and Development meeting in Cyprus, the Head of the Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) announced Palestine’s strategy to transform its financial structure.
Azzam Shawwa says it is looking for a bitcoin-style solution to solve one of Palestine’s biggest challenges – the inability to print its own currency. He says these plans are part of a 5-year strategy which will be released by the end of 2017.
Palestine, a sovereign state in the Middle East, uses the euro, U.S. dollar, Egyptian pound, Israeli shekel, and Jordanian dinar but does not have its own currency due to the 1994 Paris Protocol agreement. The agreement restricts Palestine from printing paper money but the digital Palestinian pound is a proposed work-around.
It appears the PMA is also considering backing its Palestinian pound by a type of commodity. Shawwa stated:
“But it’s not only the currency, you have to see the economy also. Issuing (a currency) is something, but you also need the backbone of the currency; reserves, gold, oil and that is part of the business plan.”
The lack of a national currency has been a major roadblock for Palestine gaining its independence. However, this 5-year plan to create the digital Palestinian pound makes it one step closer.