Two of the largest economies in the Middle East have described a central bank digital currency as an improvement over the centralized payment systems. The UAE and Saudi Arabia’s central banks released a report on their joint CBDC research recently, revealing it had exceeded performance objectives.
Dubbed Project Aber, the joint effort between the Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA) and the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) kicked off in early 2019. As CoinGeek reported, the two central banks admitted select commercial banks into the trial.
Two years later, the two have released their final report on Project Aber.
“The project confirmed that a cross-border dual issued currency was technically viable and that it was possible to design a distributed payment system that offers the two countries significant improvement over centralized payment systems in terms of architectural resilience,” the report claimed.
The research project has met all the key requirements, “including complex requirements around privacy and decentralization.” In addition, the CBDC had mitigated economic risks such as traceability of issued currency and visibility of money supply.
On the choice of name, the two regulators revealed it was because Aber in Arabic means crossing borders. This captures the cross-border nature of the project.