Saudi Arabia and UAE Banks Launch Pilot Cryptocurrency Initiative — Could They Be Using Ripple Technology?

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are beginning to creep into real-world enterprise business.

Ripple has already partnered with over 200 financial institutions, Deloitte’s 2018 global blockchain survey shows that 95% of surveyed companies are investing in blockchain technology, and the list goes on.

The most recent positive blockchain adoption news comes from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as their banks are adopting blockchain technology and launching a cryptocurrency.

The Saudi-Emirati Alliance

According the Emirates News Agency, the Executive Committee of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council discussed 7 initiatives that will help materialize their joint vision of economic, social and military integration.

The initiatives will be implemented throughout the course of 2019.

The committee is composed of 16 members from both the UAE and Saudi Arabia. These members represent one of the strongest economic alliances in the world, as the combined sovereign wealth funds of the two countries are the second largest in the world.

Launching an Interbank Cryptocurrency

Regarding their strategic initiative for bilateral integration in the fields of services and financial markets, the Saudi-Emirati alliance has decided to experiment with blockchain technology in their financial operations between the two countries.

During their most recent meeting, the 2 countries launched a joint pilot cryptocurrency to facilitate cross-border payments between banks. Initially, the cryptocurrency will be used strictly on an experimental basis to understand the implications of blockchain technology.

No details were provided on what underlying blockchain technology their cryptocurrency is operating on. The press release only noted that the digital currency relies on the use of a distributed database between the central banks and participating banks from both countries.

Adding to the above, the press release noted what the alliance hopes to achieve with their experimental cryptocurrency project:

It seeks to safeguard customer interests, set technology standards and assess cybersecurity risks. The project will also determine the impact of a central currency on monetary policies.

Could the Saudi-Emirati Cryptocurrency Be Using Ripple Technology?

Not much else is publicly known about this joint blockchain initiative, but there is room for some speculation on the details of the project.

For instance, it is more than likely that the cryptocurrency’s blockchain will be private so that the general public cannot view transactional activity between the two nations. As the blockchain is centralized, it is probable that centralized authorities will be able to reverse transactions, if need be.

Moreover, one could speculate that Saudi-Emirati alliance is not building their own cryptocurrency and blockchain, but rather adopting an existing network which has already been tried, tested and proven to work.

The one crypto that the alliance seems likely to adopt and experiment with Ripple which is designed specifically to facilitate cross-border payments between banks. What’s more, Ripple’s blockchain technology, and in some cases its cryptocurrency (XRP), has already been experimented with and implemented into numerous financial institutions.

One of Ripple’s most notable integrations is with one of the largest Islamic banks in the world, Kuwait Finance House (KFH). While Kuwait and KFH are not apart of the UAE or Saudi Arabia, it is a border country to both nations.

It would not be surprising to learn that Ripple’s blockchain technology may be behind the Saudi-Emirati cryptocurrency project. After all, Ripple is by far the leading cryptocurrency project in the banking sector, with the most implementations, connections, and networks with banks around the world.

At this moment, whether Ripple’s blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are involved in the Saudi-Emirati cryptocurrency initiative is purely speculation. We will have to wait and see as their project unfolds in the course of 2019.

Do you think the Saudi-Emirati alliance is utilizing Ripple’s blockchian tech and cryptocurrency? Or have they developed their own cryptocurrency? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.