A new stablecoin pegged to the UAE dirham (AED) has been launched by a company based in Abu Dhabi. The stablecoin, called DRAM, is designed to provide access to the UAE’s stable currency for countries that suffer from high inflation. DRAM was created by Distributed Technologies Research (DTR), a company founded by a former MIT student and SoftBank executive, Akshay Naheta. DRAM was listed on the decentralized finance platforms Uniswap and PancakeSwap on October 3rd.
DRAM is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, issued by DRAM Trust, a Hong Kong-based entity. The trust has an independent trustee who is licensed and regulated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and is responsible for approving the mining and burning of DRAM tokens. The trust also holds dirham reserves in regulated financial institutions, ensuring that each DRAM token is backed by one AED. DRAM also has smart contracts on BNB Smart Chain and Arbitrum, two other blockchain networks.
Naheta started DTR in Abu Dhabi in 2022, after co-founding it in Switzerland in 2019. The company had previously developed a decentralized payment system called Unit-e, which was supported by prominent academic institutions such as Stanford, MIT, and the University of Illinois. However, the project was discontinued in 2019. Naheta said his vision for DTR was to disrupt the payments industry and create a protocol that would have high throughput and low cost.
DRAM is currently not available in Hong Kong or the UAE, but Naheta said he was in talks with regulators and exchanges to expand the stablecoin’s reach. He said that DRAM could offer a solution for countries that face currency devaluation and hyperinflation, such as Venezuela, Argentina, and Turkey. He also said that DRAM could enable cross-border transactions and remittances, as well as facilitate trade and commerce between the UAE and other regions.