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IBM and Smart Dubai launch new blockchain platform for the UAE

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IBM is working with Smart Dubai to launch a blockchain platform-as-a-service called Dubai Blockchain Platform. It will work as a stepping stone for enterprises in United Arab Emirates (UAE) that are working on blockchain development.

Smart Dubai is a government initiative to facilitate smart transformation in Dubai and deliver an efficient, seamless, safe and impactful city experience for residents and visitors.

As a part of Dubai Blockchain Strategy, Dubai is making key efforts to make the emirate a paperless government by 2021. IBM is the official Blockchain Strategic Partner for the Dubai Blockchain Strategy.

“Smart Dubai has been moving rapidly towards our main objective of transforming the emirate into a full-fledged smart city that tops global competitiveness and happiness indexes,” said Her Excellency Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office (SDO).

“The Dubai Blockchain Strategy set a clear path for the emirate to have the world’s first fully digitized government by 2021. The Dubai Blockchain Platform we are launching today with IBM – who bring a wealth of insight and expertise in the advanced tech industries – drives us forward in our mission and allows us to power all blockchain applications in the city from one united portal.”

Dubai Blockchain Platform will be built locally in the UAE, delivered through an IBM Cloud environment. It will help enterprises transition their blockchain testing and development into full production, as well as transform and digitize applicable government processes and citizen services, such as roads and transport, energy, healthcare, and education.

Aim of collaboration with IBM is to run all applicable government transactions on blockchain. It will make Dubai a global benchmark for city-wide blockchain implementation.

The first project to be migrated onto the Dubai Blockchain Platform will be the Dubai Pay Blockchain Settlement and Reconciliation System, which was launched in September.

“In the past few years, technologies such as blockchain have moved up on the agenda in Dubai. Today, proof of concepts are bypassed and organizations are moving into full-scale production,” said Amr Refaat, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan.

“Blockchain provides an added layer of trust and transparency among government organizations and businesses and helps make collaboration more efficient. The new IBM Blockchain-based service will enable organizations to keep their data in-country and conduct transactions locally. It also conforms to Dubai Government’s Information Security Regulation standards.”

Blockchain is the most trending technology today, having potential to transform every industry. According to a report by HTF Market Intelligence, global blockchain market will reach $19.9 billion by 2023.

IBM has been working on blockchain development for a few years now. Earlier this year, it partnered with shipping giant Maersk to set up a blockchain-based joint venture to accelerate the global trade and secure it. Recently, it collaborated with foreign exchange services provider CLS on a new proof on concept (PoC) blockchain platform called LedgerConnect.

Dubai Blockchain Platform will also help organizations keep their data in country and conduct transactions locally. It will reduce operational costs for them.

Also read: IBM marks one of the most significant tech acquisition, buys Red Hat for $34 billion

“As Dubai persists on its path to becoming a world leader in the industries of the future, Blockchain technology will occupy an increasingly significant status in Governments’ and organizations’ day-to-day undertakings, as well as in individuals’ everyday lives,” said H.E. Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment (SDG).

“Blockchain is steadily moving towards becoming a multibillion market by 2019 and we, at Smart Dubai, have successfully embedded the technology in numerous services, the latest of which was the advanced ‘Dubai Pay Blockchain Settlement and Reconciliation System’, which eliminates friction from financial processes between government entities through automation and minimal human intervention. And with the launch of the Dubai Blockchain Platform today, we will be one step closer to implementing Blockchain-powered services and experiences into citizens’ day-to-day lives.”

Image source: Smart Dubai

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