Digital world for banner background, remixed from public domain by Nasa

Several countries leading the digital innovation in implementing digital assets are taking their interest in central bank digital currencies to a new level. 

The Central Bank of the UAE, together with the BIS Innovation Hub Hong Kong Centre, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Bank of Thailand, the Digital Currency Institute of the People’s Bank of China has just announced the successful completion of the first CBDC pilot involving four jurisdictions and real-value transactions. It took place on a DLT platform called mBridge. 

The prototype, launched exactly a year ago by the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub, eventually allowed 20 on boarded banks to settle instant cross-border payments with corporate players and customers in digital fashion. A detailed report will be released in October, covering technical design, legal, policy and other regulatory considerations, and the future roadmap of mBridge.

The UAE recently participated in the fifth International Financial Architecture (IFA) Working Group meeting within the G20 Finance Track for 2022, where the UAE team previewed the mBridge platform experience and stressed out the need for a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital payments and centralised digital currencies facilitation. 

The CBDC game is going stronger with Iran launching its very own CBDC called “crypto rial” and Saudi Arabia enhancing its efforts toward digital assets policy. As per Bloomberg report, the Saudi Central Bank has hired former Managing Director at Accenture, Mohsen AlZahrani, to lead the bank’s crypto and CBDC efforts.