Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh believes that cryptocurrency can help Palestine become more independent of the Israeli shekel and of economic sanctions, according to online magazine Bitcoinist.
Cryptocurrency to be less dependent on Israel
He would have said this during a speech at the Palestine Center for Computer Emergency Response in Ramallah (city next to Jerusalem). This talk was also broadcast on the national channel Palestine TV. Shtayyeh stated that cryptocurrency can be used to bypass the sanctions imposed by Israel:
“Around 25 billion Israeli shekels (6.3 billion euros) are circulating in the Palestinian economy. This money is mainly in the local economy, but we are not obliged to remain dependent on the shekel. “
Shtayyeh promised to consider every option and do everything needed to find a way to economic freedom, a way that Israel cannot block. The Protocol of Economic Relations, also known as the Paris Protocol, states that Palestine must use the Israeli currency.
There is permission for a national central bank, but they cannot issue their own currency. The agreement was signed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel in 1994. From that moment on, only the shekel could actually be used as a means of payment.
As a result, the Israeli shekel is one of the most important currencies in circulation, along with the Jordanian dinar and the US dollar.
Own cryptocurrency raises many questions
In 2017, the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) wanted to launch a sovereign digital currency within five years. This Palestinian crypto could then be used to bypass sanctions, just as Maduro wants to do with his Venezuelan Petro. At the time, the PMA received some criticism, also within its own borders.
A professor of economics and social sciences from Najah University, doubts whether cryptocurrency is economically feasible and what the practical use is for the common man:
“If Palestine has its own currency, will it be possible for Israel to contain funds? Whether the import and export is physically controlled? Will Palestine suddenly be able to make direct commercial deals with neighboring countries without the imported or exported goods passing through Israeli trading ports? “
The professor also happens to be called Shtayyeh and he believes that currency is not the problem, but that the complex economic and political dependence on the Palestinian economy. According to Shtayyeh, there are 170,000 Palestinians working in Israel who are paid their wages in the Israeli shekel, and he says that 80 percent of all trade with Israel takes place in shekels.
In addition, the academic asks an important question, which country dares to take the risk of ignoring international sanctions? And trade with Palestine in their own cryptocurrency?
Another concern is safety. Shtayyeh warns that Israel is much farther in cyber security and attacks. Certainly compared to Palestine. This makes it difficult to guarantee the safety of a possible crypto coin.
So it seems as if the Palestinian prime minister has listened and is therefore looking at existing cryptocurrency.