The central banks of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are reportedly launching a pilot initiative that will see the two institutions test a new cryptocurrency for cross-border payments, CoinDesk quoted local sources as saying.
Mubarak Rashid al-Mansouri, the UAE central bank's governor, unveiled the initiative at a meeting of the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF). He praised the effort as a first for the region.
"This is the first time the monetary authorities of two countries cooperate to use blockchain technology," he said.
All-Mansouri described the project as a "digitization of what we do already between central banks and banks."
The involvement of Saudi Arabia's central bank is notable, given that the institution to date has not commented on the tech or indicated that it was looking into potential use cases.
By contrast, the UAE is home to a number of private and public sector-driven initiatives, including Dubai's Global Blockchain Council. A number of financial institutions have explored uses of the tech in recent months, include Emirates NBD, which is developing a blockchain-based service for validating bank cheques.