Saudi Arabia and the UAE are Testing the Cryptocurrency

December 14, 2017

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are Testing the Cryptocurrency

The central banks of Saudi Arabia and the UAE are launching a joint pilot project that will test a new cryptocurrency created for cross-border  payments.

Local media sources reported that Mubarak Rashid al-Mansouri, the head of the UAE central bank, announced this initiative at a meeting of the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF). AMF includes 29 Arab countries and its purpose is the coordination of economic and monetary policy of its state-members.

Although a press release issued after the meeting does not directly relate cryptocurrency, it informs that the financial technology topics will be discussed by the group of central bankers and other financial regulators.

“For the first time the monetary authorities of our two countries are cooperating to use blockchain technology," Al-Mansouri said.

According to his report, this project is a "digitalization of those processes that are already carried out between commercial and central banks of the countries".

The involvement of the Saudi Arabia’s central bank is worthy of note, as earlier the agency has never said anything about the cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology, as well as the potential use cases. Nowadays, while in the country is an open struggle for power, one of the Bitcoin’s severs critics Prince Al-Walid is arrested. Perhaps, that is why to the cryptocurrency topic in Saudi Arabia is given less attention, as there are much more important and urgent problems.

By contrast, the United Arab Emirates is the home country to many finteh initiatives, such as the Global Blockchain Council, located in Dubai. Many giant financial institutions of the country have already used modern technologies, for example, the airline Emirates is constantly using a blockchain-based service for validating bank checks, and the local commercial bank RAK starts working with Ripple to provide instant international payments.

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