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    CBUAE Launches Strategy for Digital Dirham

    March 31, 2023

    The Central Bank of UAE (CBUAE) has begun implementing its digital currency strategy, called the Digital Dirham, to address the pain points of domestic and cross-border payments, enhance financial inclusion, and move towards a cashless society. In addition, the CBUAE decided to cancel the license of the MTS Bank Branch in Abu Dhabi and wind down its operations within six months from the date of the decision. During the winding down, the branch will be prohibited from opening new accounts and conducting transactions, except for clearing prior obligations.

    The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) will be implementing its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) strategy titled ‘The Digital Dirham’. It signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi's G42 Cloud and digital finance services provider R3 to be the infrastructure and technology providers, respectively, for the implementation of its central bank digital currency (CBDC). The strategy is one of the nine initiatives of the Financial Infrastructure Transformation Program launched by the Central Bank in February this year. The first phase of CBUAE’s CBDC Strategy, which is expected to complete over the next 12 to 15 months; comprises three major pillars, the soft launch of mBridge to facilitate real-value cross-border CBDC transactions for international trade settlement, proof-of-concept work for bilateral CBDC bridges with India, one of the UAE’s top trading partners, and finally, proof-of-concept work for domestic CBDC issuance covering wholesale and retail usage.

     

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    Keywords: Middle East and Africa, UAE, Banking, Regtech, Suptech, CBDC, Bank Licenses, CBUAE

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