The government of the UAE has always been extremely interested in making the country occupy the leading positions in the world from the perspective of the standard of living and tech development. That’s why there is little surprise that the authorities have been actively working on examining the possibilities of applying such emerging technology as blockchain with a view to facilitate a number of processes from the very beginning of its introduction.
As it has become known, citizens and residents of Dubai will soon get an opportunity to make their everyday payment, such as payments for government utilities, telecommunication and retail purchases, using digital assets.
These payments will be conducted with the help of emCash, a state-developed blockchain-based “stable” digital currency launched by emCredit, an official credit bureau that under the Dubai Department of Economic Development.
emCash was launched in Dubai last year, it was developed as a digital-fiat equivalent of the United Arab Emirate dirham with a view to facilitate and settle transactions between consumers and merchants directly.
Commenting their innovative initiative, emCredit spokesperson stated:
“To be the world’s first city to offer blockchain-based payment solutions to our residents is an exciting moment for Dubai. It confirms Dubai’s status as an international tech hub.Deploying cutting-edge technology such as blockchain is a key priority and is delivering benefits to our citizens in the form of convenience and securities to customers and merchants across Dubai.”
To carry out such an ambitious project emCredit has entered in a partnership with blockchain payment platform Pundi X and Ebooc Fintech & Loyalty Labs, a blockchain-based platform for consumer loyalty programs.
According to the reports, the bureau is going to promote its blockchain-encrypted digital currency emCash for mass adoption in the emirate via establishing point-of-sale (PoS) devices at stores in Dubai. These PoS devices are created with the help of knowledge and expertise of Pundi X specialists.
Speaking about its cooperation with emCredit, Pundi X co-founder and CEO Zac Cheah said:
“Bringing blockchain-based payments technology into the government sphere is a major development for the technology. But to be able to bring it to one of the great cities of the world and the most advanced economy in the Middle East makes today a historic moment for the real-world application of a technology that has promised so much potential until now.”
Though emCash is still under testing, it is expected that it will get all the necessary approvals from local government and regulators and will be ready to be fully launched later this financial year.
Let us also remind that a number of other countries are also exploring the potential of state digital currencies. For example, in February, Venezuela launched its own oil-backed cryptocurrency called Petro with a view to reduce the negative influence of inflation on the national economy. The public sale of Petro will start on November 5. Iran also followed suit developing country’s own digital currency.