DLT and cryptocurrencies
FinTechs belonging to this category offer financial services using crypto currencies. This category also includes FinTechs utilising blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) upon which Bitcoin and Ethereum are based, among others. FinTechs develop and do research in this field in order to create new services – e.g. crypto currency exchange markets, wallet providers, NFTs-related services, new payment services, "smart contracts" or new clearing and settling services.
Attitude of the country towards financial services using crypto currencies
The climate towards electronic currencies and crypto currencies in Egypt is positive. Since 2019, the government and CBE are moving forward to adopt cryptocurrency laws. The Central Bank and Banking Sector law no 194 of year 2020 mentioned crypto currencies and how it shall be regulated in Egypt. It shall fall under the umbrella of the CBE. The CBE is also looking into potentially issuing a digital currency version of the Egyptian pound.
Obligations and requirements to provide financial services using crypto currencies described above
The Central Bank and Banking Sector Law No. 194 for the year 2020 prohibited the issuance of crypto currencies, as well as their trade and marketing unless a license is obtained from the CBE in order to operate in this activity in Egypt. Although, we are not aware of any license issued to any person or entity to date. The CBE didn’t issue any rules or procedures regarding the license that needs to be obtained in order to pursue crypto currency activities in Egypt. Therefore, such activity is not yet allowed in Egypt and if anyone or any entity violated the law, they shall be exposed to imprisonment and a fine.
With regard to electronic currency, in its third version of mobile payment regulations, the CBE explained that the issuance of electronic currencies is only limited to banks under its supervision and that getting its prior consent is needed to take this step. The CBE said that the authorised banks will operate a system for managing the records of electronic currencies, which shows the value of the issued money, the system users, and service providers. The regulation also states that the bank issuing electronic units must have deposits in Egyptian pounds that are no less in value than the electronic units.
Additional comments regarding the legal situation for financial services using crypto currencies or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area
Market size for financial services using crypto currencies and biggest companies in this business area
Since the CBE didn’t issue a license for crypto currencies in Egypt, there is no market for this activity in Egypt to date. However, according to some statistics it is estimated that over 1.7 million Egyptians own crypto currency in the foreign markets.
Additional comments regarding the economic situation for financial services using crypto currencies or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area