UAE Central Bank Conducts “World’s Largest” CBDC Pilot

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  • The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates has conducted the “world’s largest” CBDC pilot
  • The bank teamed up with four other entities to test cross-border payments using CBDCs
  • Project mBridge was launched in 2021 as a way for multiple countries to exchange CBDCs easily

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) has conducted what it has called the world’s largest Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) trial in tandem with other central banks. The pilot was part of Project mBridge, which is experimenting with cross-border payments using a common platform and through which central banks can issue and exchange their CBDCs. The news came just a day before Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced that the Central Bank of Kazakhstan was looking at running its own CBDC on Binance’s BNB Chain.

Project mBridge Involved Five Entities

Project mBridge was announced last year as an effort between several countries to create an easy way for them to transact in CBDCs. CBUAE’s six-week pilot project featured the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Bank of Thailand, the Digital Currency Institute of the People’s Bank of China and the Bank for International Settlements.

Commercial banks in four jurisdictions used mBridge for 160 payment and foreign exchange transactions totalling more than 80 million dirhams ($21.78 million), with CBUAE heralding the potential of the project, saying that it “demonstrated faster, cost effective and secure cross-border monetary settlements using central bank money, identified as a G20 economic priority.”

Binance Working with Kazakhstan

Just a day after Project mBridge was announced, Zhao took to Twitter to explain how Binance’s BNB Chain could be used to host Kazakhstan’s CBDC in the future:

According to the Atlantic Council, roughly 100 countries, representing 95% of the world’s GDP, are using or looking into CBDCs, with China leading the way in adoption so far.