Innovation That Matters

Dubai cryptocurrency | Photo source Fariz Safarulla on Flickr

Dubai issues world's first state-run cryptocurrency


The local government in Dubai has officially launched its own cryptocurrency to support faster and contactless payments.

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Blockchain-based digital currency has become increasingly popular in the last 18 months. Bitcoin was the first of its kind to be invented and was developed as a ‘peer to peer electronic cash system’. Still classed as the most valuable cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has been followed by many others thanks to the development of new blockchain platforms such as Ethereum. And now the city of Dubai has decided to launch their own blockchain-based cryptocurrency to be used as a form of payment for governmental and non-governmental services.

emCash is the result of a partnership between the city’s economy department with one of its subsidiaries called Emcredit and UK-based Object Tech Group, under the Dubai Economy Accelerators umbrella. The cryptocurrency will allow UAE residents to make payments without the need for physical money or a bank card, but simply using the near field communication (NFC) option in their smartphones.

By moving over to a digital economic system, doing business will be faster and cheaper, said Dubai Economy deputy director general Ali Ibrahim in a recent press release. “It will change the way people live and do business in Dubai, and mark a giant leap for the city in harnessing game-changing innovations to improve ease of business and quality of life”. Dubai has already announced some enCash-only deals and hopes this will help the country become a fintech hub of the eastern world.

With developers like Blockchain Capital, who have produced their own digital coins in the United States, cryptocurrencies are opening the door to more international trade and making it easier for global business to take place. Could we see the end of business being conducted using real cash and a rise in digital currency? Will this open conversations betweens countries that wouldn’t usually trade?




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