Dubai Blockchain Platform is set to transform and digitize applicable government processes and citizen services.

Smart Dubai and IBM have rolled out the Middle East’s first government-endorsed blockchain platform, which slashes government payment processing times from a current average of 45 days to real-time transfers involving entities such as Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa).

The Dubai Blockchain Platform, introduced Tuesday and built locally in the UAE, is aimed at creating the world’s first paperless government by 2021, said Dr Aisha Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai. “Dubai has been a pioneer in blockchain technology since its inception, while other major cities around the world were reluctant to embrace it for city-wide implementation.”

Blockchain, which is the database technology behind cryptocurrency bitcoin, is a growing list of blocks (or transactions) which are linked with each other using cryptography – a mechanism for secure communications – that creates an open ledger that can record transactions in a fast and efficient manner.

The Middle East and Africa spending on blockchain will reach $80.8 million (Dh296m) by the end of 2018, up from $38.9m in 2017, a rise of 107 per cent, according to Massachusetts-based International Data Corporation (IDC). Worldwide, the blockchain market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. The global blockchain technology market is predicted to reach $2.3bn in size from $339.5m in 2017, according to Statista.

Dubai Pay Blockchain Settlement and Reconciliation System, the first customer of the Dubai Blockchain Platform, is the payment gateway for most of the Dubai Government entities. Dewa and Knowledge and Human Development Authority are the first government agencies to join the new system – the two enterprises have so far managed a total of more than five million transactions through blockchain.

However, more government entities including Dubai Police, Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Airports, Dubai Customs, Dubai Municipality, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Dubai Courts, Dubai Holding and a number of banks and financial services providers are expected to join the system in coming months.

Dubai Pay Blockchain Settlement and Reconciliation System were launched by Dubai Pay last month.

Dubai residents who use the portal for payments won’t notice much difference in user experience but the back-end of the transaction is more secure and much faster.

Read the original article here