Emirates NBD launches Digital Asset Lab, announces founding council members
• Founding council members include PwC and Fireblocks • The Lab aims to establish a robust platform with industry experts enabling co-creation and experimentation to drive innovation in financial services • In line with the bank’s overall strategy of driving digital innovation, customer-centricity and adapting with evolving market dynamics
Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Türkiye) region, has announced the launch of the Emirates NBD Digital Asset Lab, a platform that will enable and accelerate digital asset and financial services innovation in the UAE.
Through the Digital Asset Lab, the bank is establishing a robust platform with industry experts, enabling co-creation and experimentation for the development of innovative ideas in financial services using digital assets and its underlying technologies. The Lab focuses purely on digital assets and how underlying technologies can be leveraged to enable customers to effectively manage their financial services requirements in the evolving and dynamic environment of digital assets. The platform will enable global accessibility of subject matter experts and foster education and awareness for the Group and its customers while enhancing efficiency and ensuring security and transparency.
Recently, at the Dubai FinTech Summit, the bank signed innovation focussed agreements with professional services firm, PwC, and digital asset transfer and direct custody technology platform, Fireblocks, as founding council members.
The collaboration between parties is envisioned to focus on four key pillars including:
- Strategy and Policy: Compliance, risk and security framework(s) for Web 3.0 technologies
- Architecture: Business, technology and security reference architecture for Web 3.0 solutions
- Partners: Collection of Partners (technology, business and governance) who can support with the required systems and processes for Web 3.0 technologies
- Capabilities: Design, build and experiment new capabilities and value propositions related to Web 3.0 ecosystem
Abdulla Qassem, Group Chief Operating Officer, Emirates NBD, said: “As a front-runner of digital innovation, we are always looking to differentiate ourselves and stay ahead of the curve, especially when it comes to keeping pace with the dynamic digital landscape. The launch of our new Digital Asset Lab further consolidates our position as a digital leader and an innovator in the region’s financial sector. We are excited to collaborate with the best and most inventive names in the industry, to enhance our customers’ banking experiences.”
He added, “Our new Digital Asset Lab serves as a hub for innovation, experimentation and collaboration in the digital asset space, supported by industry partners. We see this as another stride towards accelerating our transformation journey and developing the latest solutions that optimise customer experience.”
Michael Shaulov, CEO and Co-founder of Fireblocks, said: “Fireblocks is thrilled to be a founding council member of Emirates NBD Group’s Digital Assets Lab alongside an illustrious group of leading digital innovators. The announcement marks another significant milestone in the region, creating a springboard for digital asset and financial services innovation and placing Dubai at the precipice of the new digital frontier.”
Stephen Anderson, PwC Middle East’s Strategy and Markets Leader, said: “PwC is proud to partner with Emirates NBD on the Digital Assets Lab to accelerate digital transformation in the region’s financial sector. As a leading advisor in this space, we bring deep expertise, innovative solutions, and strong connections into the fin-tech start/scale up ecosystem. Together, we will co-create cutting-edge solutions that enhance the customer experience and drive inclusion and innovation, while maintaining our commitment to trust and responsibility.”
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