”These regulations do not cover ’virtual currency’ which is defined as any type of digital unit used as a medium of exchange, unit account, or a form of stored value. In this context, these regulations do not apply to bitcoin or other crypto - currencies, currency exchanges, or underlying technology such as blockchain.”
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the second largest lender in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), announced it would introduce real-time cross-border payments using Ripple technology – a move that makes it the first bank in the Middle East to do this.
It makes sense for banks to invest in a technology that can boost remittances in a region with strong cross-border flows.And according to the bank’s statement, the aim is to offer customers cheaper and faster payments.
While infrastructure growth is expected to remain strong at least until the 2020 World Expo, declining oil revenues cast clouds on the capacity of the government to maintain the same level of expenditure.
The flourishing communities of academia and research, a favorable tax regime, and the push to attract FinTech and blockchain startups all point to a strategy of strengthening the emirates’ position as a financial and technology hub.