UAE FAB bank, (First Abu Dhabi Bank), has announced the successful completion of its J.P Morgan’s Coin blockchain based cross border payments.

Coin systems support digital solutions on proprietary blockchain network to enable instant transfer and settlement of value on a permissioned distributed ledger.  The pilot phase, executed seamlessly and within satisfactory response times, have demonstrated the capabilities and potential of blockchain technology in enhancing cross-border payment solutions.

FAB’s achievement through collaboration with Onyx by J.P. Morgan, is a demonstration of the bank’s commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technologies to provide innovative solutions to its clients around payments space and particularly cross border payments domain.  Looking ahead, FAB’s Global Transaction Banking business plans to explore further opportunities using J.P. Morgan’s Coin Systems.

Bahrain’s ABC Bank was the first bank to actually go live with Coin System built on Onyx by J.P Morgan, after two years of piloting.

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) released a press release where it confirmed that the Central Bank is continuing to experiment on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC).  SAMA is currently working on a project that focuses on domestic or national wholesale CBDC use case in collaboration with local banks and FinTech’s.

Experts explained to LaraontheBlock that this is a CBDC for local wholesale bank settlements. 

This project is part of SAMA’s ongoing research and experimentation on CBDC. SAMA is seeking to research and explore the economic impact, market readiness, and  potential robust and fast applications of a CBDC based payment solution. 

As per the news, SAMA seeks to review policy, legal and regulatory considerations before moving to the next phases of the CBDC journey to contribute to achieving the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.

H.E. Fahad Almubarak, Governor of SAMA stated “Local banks and payment companies will always be a cornerstone of this project and its implementation, we have engaged both local banks and FinTech’s, as well as other market players and third party consulting and technology providers, to gain a better understanding of CBDC’s functionality and to test various design options.” 

Noted as well, is that SAMA will continue to experiment on CBDC solution as an infrastructure enabler of innovation in financial services that has the potential to contribute to a more resilient payment ecosystem and accelerate digital transformation in the local financial sector.

SAMA stresses that although no decision has been made regarding the introduction of CBDC in the Kingdom, it continues to focus on exploring the benefits and potential risks of implementing CBDC. This will contribute to informed decision-making within SAMA and to CBDC explorations within the central banking community.

Prior to this announcement, SAMA had hired Mohsen Al Zahrani as Head of Virtual assets and CBDC program. This seems to be the first fruit of efforts made. 

In 2020  SAMA successfully conducted CBDC experiment “Project Aber” in 2019, an initiative in collaboration with the Central Bank of the UAE to examine whether distributed ledger technology could contribute to seamless cross-border payments.

During the 2023 World Economic Forum’s session on Financial Institutions innovating under pressure, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Finance Mohammed Al Jadaan states that while CBDCs have privacy issues they are fantastic tool in developing countries.

A UAE restaurant is piloting Blockchain enabled halal food traceability with DNA verification with OneAgrix and its partner Blockchain OriginTrail, and Inexto.

OneAgrix, Inexto, OriginTrail and their ecosystem partners are pioneering and comprehensive halal digitalization solution, tracing beef from the DNA to QR code. With just a smartphone, food consumers can now verify the origins of their food, trace it through the supply chain, verify the authenticity of the halal certificate, and confirm that the product is genuine.

This end-to-end food traceability technology was showcased at a high-end restaurant in Dubai as a joint effort by OneAgrix, Inexto, OriginTrail, and their ecosystem partners for the launch of the traceability technology.

Technology that enables buyers to trace the supply chain journey of the food is important to build consumer trust and ensure food safety by the retailers selling their products, also enabling fast product recall. OneAgrix and eight ecosystem partners have developed an end-to-end supply chain traceability and transparency solution that is commercially viable. The solution will enable consumers and food distributors to provide consumers with clear information on the origin of their food and verify that their food is genuine.

The comprehensive food traceability solution connects the serving on the plate to the farm from which it came. Identification technology, provided by Inexto, traces the product through the supply chain, and DNA traceability verifying the connection to the animal itself. Together, they identify the type and origin of the meat, the identity of the farm and the meat processor, the authenticity of the halal certifications, and the health certificates required for processing and export.

Certificates are stored in OriginTrail’s network operating system, built on blockchain technology to maintain their integrity and all stored on OneAgrix’s platform.

Mr Philippe Chatelain, CEO of Inexto explained, “INEXTO Solutions are yearly securing over 100 Billion products across their global supply chains and delivers the highest degree of trust and security to consumers, customers, and governments. INEXTO is excited to be part of the Halal End-to-End traceability project with OneAgrix, thus providing halal food product consumers with a demonstrated proof of origin and authenticity.”

Žiga Drev, Founder and Managing Director at Trace Labs, the core developers of OriginTrail highlighted, “At Trace Labs, we are committed to building a more transparent, collaborative and trusted global economy with the OriginTrail Decentralized Knowledge Graph.This pilot is a comprehensive exercise following a multi-year integration of OneAgrix platform, focused on bringing the benefits of blockchain-based technologies closer to stakeholders within faith-based food supply chains around the world to advance transparency and trust.”

According to the ecosystem partners, Dubai was chosen as the city to launch this pioneering and comprehensive technology as the city is known as the ‘city of the future’, famous for its innovation as well as being a global halal hub. 

“We are delighted that Dubai is the destination to launch the world’s first comprehensive food traceability solution, which is in line with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s national vision for UAE 2031, on the importance of food security by utilizing the latest in technology and innovative approaches,” said Ms Diana Sabrain, CEO of OneAgrix.

UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) s Halal Sector Manager, Dr Awal Fuseini said, “OneAgrix’s halal digitalization project would improve traceability and transparency in the halal sector. The UK meat industry is well positioned to continue to supply premium halal meat products to the growing halal market, this digitalization project is expected to increase consumer confidence in our products”.

OneAgrix, Inexto, OriginTrail and their ecosystem partners announce a pioneering and comprehensive farm-to-retail solution, tracing beef from the DNA to QR code.

UAE oil giant ADNOC ( Abu Dhabi Oil Company) is piloting a blockchain platform that will show how much CO2 was used to make products such as Murban crude ammonia, and aviation fuels. The pilot will be in cooperation with Siemens Energy AG. 

Using smart sensor data gathered from across ADNOC’s operational chain, from oil to customer, CO2 utilization will be recorded onto a decentralized blockchain ledger. As per the press release, such transparency will allow independent regulators to certify the carbon intensity of products. It will also give customers greater confidence and clarity over the carbon footprint of their purchases.

Abdulmunim Saif Al Kindy, Executive Director, People, Technology & Corporate Support Directorate at ADNOC, said: “People typically associate blockchain technology with crypto currencies, but the use of decentralized ledgers has significant implications for the energy industry. This pilot promises to shine a digital spotlight into our manufacturing processes. It will show the world why energy supplied by ADNOC is among the least carbon intensive in the oil and gas industry.”

The low-carbon energy certificate initiative forms part of a broader memorandum of understanding between ADNOC and Siemens Energy. Under the agreement, specialists from both companies will co-create technologies to accelerate decarbonization and the transition to clean energy. 

Dr. Fahad Al Yafei, Chief Technology Officer, Siemens Energy Middle East, said: “By leveraging our unique knowledge and expertise of certificates of sustainability, Siemens Energy will work with ADNOC to develop solutions for the benefit of the energy industry. Investing in innovation and the co-creation of technologies are vital tools for reducing emissions and meeting Net Zero targets.”

The agreement was signed by Sophie Hildebrand, Chief Technology Officer, ADNOC and Dr. Al Yafei.

Back in 2018 ADNOC had announced its successful collaboration with IBM, piloting a Blockchain-based automated system to integrate oil and gas production across the full value chain. The  system provided a secure platform for the tracking, validating and execution of transactions at every stage, from production well to the end customer.  

In 2020, ADNOC announce that its Panorama Digital Command Center (Panorama)  generated over $1 billion (AED 3.67 billion) in business value since its inception in 2018. Panorama was a key part of ADNOC’s ongoing strategic investments in digitization, blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) to enable the company to drive greater efficiencies, optimize performance, and respond to complex market dynamics with agility and speed.