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UAE Announces FIT Programme to Issue CBDC and Forster Digital Payments

UTC by Steve Muchoki · 3 min read
UAE Announces FIT Programme to Issue CBDC and Forster Digital Payments
Photo: Unsplash

The launch of the FIT programme is in line with the UAE’s vision for 2031 to digitize the economy with the full integration of CBDC set for 2026.

The Central Bank of the UAE alias CBUAE has announced the launch of its Financial Infrastructure Transformation Programme, FIT, to focus on digital payment services including a CBDC. Reportedly, the FIT programmer will oversee the launch of a Card Domestic Scheme, an Instant Payments Platform, and the issuance of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) for cross-border and domestic uses. In a bid to reduce financial friction, the FIT programme will also focus on establishing a Financial Cloud, and developing functioning eKYC and Open Finance Platforms.

CBDC in UAE

According to the announcement, the launch of the FIT programme is in line with the UAE’s vision for 2031 to digitize the economy with the full integration of CBDC set for 2026.

“The FIT Programme embodies the directions and aspirations of our wise leadership towards digitizing the economy and developing the financial sector. We are proud to be building an infrastructure that will support a thriving UAE financial ecosystem and its future growth. We will work with our partners to implement the Programme, achieve its goals, accelerate the adoption of digital services in the financial sector and attract the best talent,” H.E. Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the CBUAE, said.

UAE Taps on Blockchain Technology

The government of UAE has been drafting crypto policies that are friendlier than other nations to attract digital assets-related investments. Earlier last year, the UAE government began issuing federal licenses to virtual asset service providers (VASPs).

As a result, leading crypto companies including Binance have eyed the UAE digital asset licenses in a bid to access the regional market. For instance, Virtuzone and Binance announced a strategic partnership to enable fast payment in the country.

According to a report from the crypto oasis, over 1,450 active Web3 organizations were in the UAE by the end of the third quarter of 2022. Interestingly, over 7,000 individuals were identified to be working in the Web3 industry country.

The UAE government showed its commitment to blockchain technology after launching its metaverse headquarters. As a result, the country intends to become a major metaverse in the next decade.

“The virtual government office would also be equipped with advanced technology for the Ministry to sign bilateral agreements with other nations in the metaverse. It will bolster the UAE’s ability to become a global hub for next-generation technologies,” the Minister stated.

The country is competing with other nations that have already rolled out functioning CBDCs. Some of the leading nations include China, Jamaica, and Nigeria. Additionally, the country is also competing with El Salvador and the Central African Republic – which adopted Bitcoin as legal tender – to attract crypto investments.

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