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Money's Going Digital in the Middle East

Key Takeaways:
  1. Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) marks a significant evolution in how we handle money

  2. CBDCs offer a secure and efficient way to make digital payments.

  3. Blockchain technology plays a crucial role in enhancing CBDC security and efficiency, even in a centralized setting.

  4. The UAE's Digital Dirham is a significant step forward in the exploration of CBDCs, with potential to reshape financial transactions for individuals, businesses, and governments.

  5. Egypt is checking out the idea of a digital version of their currency called the 'E-Pound'.


Money's Going Digital in the Middle East

The journey from traditional currencies to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) marks a significant evolution in how we handle money. CBDCs are digital currencies introduced by central banks. This shift towards digital currency simplifies transactions, making them faster and more accessible. Instead of relying on physical cash. Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) hold importance for several reasons, including:

  • Efficient Transactions: CBDCs streamline financial transactions, making them quicker and more secure.

  • Financial Inclusion: CBDCs promote financial participation by allowing even those without traditional banking access to be part of the formal economy.

  • Effective Monetary Policies: Central banks benefit from CBDCs as they gain better control over the money supply, facilitating more effective implementation of monetary policies.

  • Traceability: The digital nature of CBDCs enhances traceability, reducing the risk of suspicious activities like money laundering.

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) has partnered with two companies to create a Digital Dirham Ecosystem. G42 Cloud, a trusted provider of secure cloud infrastructure in the region, will form the basis of this ecosystem. R3, blockchain technology provider, will contribute in developing the core technology for this platform. Through this collaboration, advanced solutions will be utilized to ensure the stability, scalability, and security of the digital dirham.

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE)

The first phase of the CBUAE's CBDC (The Digital Dirham) is expected to be completed over the next 12 to 15 months and will include three major pillars:

  • First Pillar: A soft launch of a project called mBridge, which is being developed by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and several other central banks. mBridge will allow banks in different countries to make payments to each other using digital currencies.

  • Second Pillar: Proof-of-concept work for CBDC two sided bridge with India. This will allow banks in the UAE and India to make payments to each other using their own digital currencies.

  • Third Pillar: Proof-of-concept work for a domestic wholesale and retail CBDC. This will allow people and businesses in the UAE to use the Digital Dirham for everyday transactions.

The UAE is looking into digital currencies, and many other countries' central banks are interested too, including Egypt. Egypt is checking out the idea of a digital version of their currency called the 'E-Pound.' Even though it's set to launch fully by 2030, this smart move shows Egypt wants to explore digital finance opportunities.


The E-Pound wants to make payments work better, include more people in banking, and maybe make the regular Egyptian pound more competitive. Being digital means it can make transactions faster, cost less, and increase accessibility for unbanked segments of the population. But the Central Bank is being careful, doing a lot of research to figure out the rules and technology for these digital currencies.


The future is going digital, and using digital money is a big part of it. To get ready for what's coming, we need to use digital IDs, signatures, and contracts. This is especially important for businesses in Egypt and the Middle East. Pend is here to help with that. Pend provides the infrastructure we need to make sure businesses are set up for the future. With Pend, you can follow the rules and make things easy as we move into the world of digital money.


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