The Saudi Arabia Central Bank (SAMA) and Central Bank of United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) released a report on Project Aber, a joint digital currency and distributed ledger proof of concept. Aber means “crossing boundaries” in Arabic.
The initiative sought to explore whether distributed ledger technology could enable cross-border payments between the two countries to be reimagined: using a new, dual-issued digital currency as a unit of settlement between commercial banks in the two countries and domestically.
Over the course of a year, use cases were designed, implemented, and operated; with the solution, results, and key lessons learned documented. The project confirmed that Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) can provide central banks with the ability to reimagine both domestic and cross-border payment systems in new ways.
The project was structured into three distinct phases or use cases to explore:
- cross-border settlement between the two central banks;
- domestic settlement between three commercial banks in each country
- cross-border transactions between the commercial banks using the digital currency.