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Workshop organized by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation and the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) explores central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and their impact on interregional trade

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In collaboration with the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) (www.ITFC-IDB.org), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, organized a virtual workshop on trends and developments in CBDC and their potential impact on boosting interregional trade between West African countries and internationally. The workshop highlighted the growing interest of central banks in digital currencies around the world and aimed to explore how BCEAO can adopt CBDC in its operations.

Speakers included Matthieu Saint Olive of ConsenSys; David Wray and Willy Lim from R3; Harold Bosse, Sébastien Le Callonnec, Kamran Shahin and Arn Vogels from Mastercard; Pascal Ordonneau, former CEO of HSBC Invoice Financing; and Erin English and Catherine Gu from Visa.

The experts addressed the key trends in integrating CBDC into mainstream finance, exploring a variety of topics and topics including policy, security, legal and regulatory considerations. They explored the impact on the global banking system and the role of commercial banks, the impact on foreign exchange reserves, and the need to educate the general public. The panel also highlighted the potential benefits of digital currencies, including greater financial inclusion, integrity and stability, operational efficiency, and effectiveness of monetary policy.

Highlighting the importance of the workshop, Nazeem Noordali, ITFC’s chief operating officer, said: “The fourth industrial revolution will change the face of the traditional monetary system as we know it. Technology is already changing the way commerce is conducted, creating vast new opportunities for greater efficiency and impact. ITFC strongly believes in the potential of digital currencies to drive trade and drive greater financial inclusion and stability in the developing world. “

Madame Justine Amenan Tano Beugre, Advisor to the Director General of the West African Center for Banking Studies and Training (COFEB), a division of BCEAO, noted that the Bank had the same opinion, as evidenced by the organization of a press conference in December last. with the theme ‘Cryptomoney Emergence: Fears and Controversies’, and moderated by Professor Michel Ruimy, a world-renowned expert in the field.

“It is important to note that the BCEAO pays special interest to technological and financial innovations, considered as fundamental levers to strengthen financial inclusion. Likewise, like the main central banks, our issuing institute is concerned about digital developments to consider in the context of monetary issuance. Therefore, this workshop offers the opportunity to explore the issuance of digital currency in a theoretical and practical way, but also to discuss the implications for monetary policy and financial stability, ”said Beugre.

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