The governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has announced a new cross border cryptocurrency initiative.

The initiatives, which cover a range of sectors such as cryptocurrency, civil aviation, and customs, aim to strengthen economic, social and military integration between the two countries.

Formed in 2016, the Executive Committee of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council met for the first time in UAE on January 19. The Council announced that the new cryptocurrency will be used for cross border payments between central and local banks.

The committee is headed by the UAE’s Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future and Saudi’s Mohammed bin Mazyad Altwaijri, minister of Economy and Planning.

“The cross-border digital currency will be strictly targeted for banks at an experimental phase with the aim of better understanding the implications of Blockchain technology and facilitating cross-border payments.”

It’s unclear whether this will be a joint Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). If it is a CBDC, it’s a “wholesale” one given it’s only meant for use by banks.

This initiative facilitates the easy flow of traffic at the entry ports between Saudi Arabia and the UAE and at customs outlets through the adoption of the fast track system within the network of “authorized economic operators”. A total of 41 companies from Saudi and 40 from the UAE have been listed in the network.

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