The Central Bank of UAE (CBUAE) has engaged G42 Cloud and enterprise blockchain firm R3 as the infrastructure and technology providers respectively for its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) implementation.
The regulator indicated its readiness to embark on this venture following its involvement in several successful CBDC initiatives.
This includes Project Aber with the Saudi Central Bank in 2020 as well as the the first real-value cross-border CBDC pilot under the mBridge Project with the Hong Kong, Thailand, Chinese central banks and the Bank for International Settlements in 2022.
The first phase of CBUAE’s CBDC Strategy is expected to complete over the next 12 to 15 months and comprises three major pillars.
The three pillars are; the soft launch of mBridge to facilitate realvalue cross-border CBDC transactions for international trade settlement, proof-of concept work for bilateral CBDC bridges with India, and finally, proof-of-concept work for domestic CBDC issuance covering wholesale and retail usage.
The CBUAE’s CBDC Strategy is one of the nine initiatives of the central bank’s Financial Infrastructure Transformation (FIT) programme.
H.E. Khaled Mohamed Balama, the Governor of the CBUAE said,
“CBDC is one of the initiatives as part of the CBUAE’s FIT programme, which will further position and solidify the UAE as a leading global financial hub. The launch of our CBDC strategy marks a key step in the evolution of money and payments in the country.
CBDC will accelerate our digitalisation journey and promote financial inclusion. We look forward to exploring the opportunities that CBDC will bring to the wider economy and society.”