Egypt CBDC Tracker

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Freedom Rankings

Cato and Fraser Human Freedom Index:


Freedom House Index:


Reporters Without Borders Freedom Index:


Egypt is currently in the research phase, according to a report from the Central Bank of Egypt. The Central Bank of Egypt also said it is working with the Egyptian Credit Bureau so that it could also offer savings and lending services. However, the research is still at an early stage so it’s unclear what specific form the CBDC will ultimately take. Still, that form may be decided sooner rather than later. In Egypt Today, it was reported in 2024 that the Central Bank of Egypt was preparing to issue a CBDC (referred to as the E-Pound) by 2030.

Egypt earned an 18 out of 100 in Freedom House’s 2023 Freedom in the World report. There are substantial concerns across a broad range of issues in Egypt. However, regarding the issuance and use of a CBDC, the most relevant concerns are the oppression of criticism and widespread corruption. Issuing a CBDC could worsen these issues.

“Political parties are legally allowed to form and operate, but in practice, activists, opposition parties, and political movements that criticize the regime face arrests, harsh prison terms, death sentences, extrajudicial violence, and other forms of pressure,” according to Freedom House. For example, “The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), a prominent human rights group, suspended its Egyptian operations in January because its founder, Gamal Eid, claimed he had experienced years of harassment from authorities, including the freezing of his assets, a travel ban, and physical assault.” The U.S. Department of State said that “there were reports that security agencies regularly placed human rights defenders, political activists, journalists, foreigners, and writers under surveillance; monitored their private communications; screened their correspondence, including email and social media accounts; examined their bank records; searched their persons and homes without judicial authorization; and extrajudicially confiscated personal property.” Unfortunately, a CBDC could be used as another tool in this effort. Across the world, governments have often turned to freezing and seizing the money of activists, political rivals, and protestors to undermine the opposition. A CBDC would make such initiatives easier by allowing governments to take direct control of each citizen’s finances.

“Corruption is pervasive at all levels of government,” according to Freedom House. “Official mechanisms for investigating and punishing corrupt activity remain weak and ineffective.” Additional criticism has said that anti-corruption efforts lack credibility, transparency, and impartiality. The existence of pervasive corruption is a major concern with CBDCs because it calls into question any promises that might be made by the government to limit surveillance, control, or other risks of CBDCs. Furthermore, the existence of corruption calls into question whether CBDC policies might be designed to exert political favoritism through subsidies, price controls, or other targeted restrictions.

For additional information on concerns regarding violations of human rights and civil liberties, see the following reports by Amnesty International, Financial Tyranny Index, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, and the U.S. Department of State. For additional information on concerns regarding the risks of CBDCs, see the following webpage and report by the Cato Institute: The Risks of CBDCs and Central Bank Digital Currency: Assessing the Risks and Dispelling the Myths.

For additional information regarding metrics, the methodology page explains each of the data points and provides their respective sources.