Dubai Plans to Become the First Blockchain-Based Government in the World by 2020

The government of Dubai plans to become the world's first, blockchain-powered government by 2020 and save over a billion dollars a year.

The city and the Emirate of Dubai may become the world's first blockchain-based government. According to ZDNet, Dubai has announced its plans to shift to a “blockchain-powered government” by 2020.

The confidence in blockchain has spread widely among officials and entrepreneurs in Dubai. According to the government branch of Smart Dubai, which is entrusted with the introduction of intelligent technologies, the use of the blockchain will allow the emirate to save 25.1 million man-hours or 1.5 billion dollars a year.

The transition to electronic document processing will allow abandoning about 100 million paper transactions per year.

Ahmed Adly, Oracle’s senior cloud computing director, noted the technology’s potential:

“By securing data, blockchain can reduce costs associated with fraud, compliance and financial reporting. It also adds an extra level of security for banking, medical records, ownership records, invoices and other assets that contain sensitive information.”

He predicted that:

“In the next few years, we'll see blockchain reform areas of business such as transactions, value storing, contracting, data management, security, communications and more.”

Next-generation technology plays an essential role in Dubai's ambitions to become a global business center and leader of smart economy. Despite the fact that most of the initiatives related to blockchain technology are still in the early stages, it is expected that in the long-term, the technology will lead to the reform of entire industries. At least, this is what Gartner's annual Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies report forecasted.

For blockchain technology to enter mainstream, the joint work of the private and public sectors is especially important. According to Oracle’s Adly, one of the reasons why this type of partnership can be successful is because:

 “blockchain can streamline transactions, supply-chain management, and manufacturing. Its distributed network would allow real-time transactions between the two sectors.”

Despite the prospects, the rapid development of the blockchain in Dubai also carries its risks, as the infrastructure is not ready yet to support all the functions.

“Applications such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and financial transactions need faster transaction rates that the current infrastructure cannot completely provide. We're working toward addressing these challenges to accelerate blockchain's enterprise adoption," added Adly.

However, Mohammed Alsehli, General Manager of ArabianChain Technology, is not worried about obstacles in the implementation of blockchain-powered solutions, as the emirate is one of the most technologically advanced regions of the world.

He said that: “from an infrastructure point of view, organizations in the MENA region will not require a huge difference in the current infrastructure for blockchain.”

For companies like ArabianChain, the government's ambitions carry growth opportunities. The company was the first in the region to build a decentralized public ledger supporting smart contracts. Soon, the company will launch a trading platform for digital assets.

Known as “Thuraya”, the program is the first of its kind supporting the Arabic language.

According to Alsehli:

“For the long term, our goal is to ensure a smooth transition of Islamic banking solutions and government services to blockchain, in addition to maintaining an impressive list of clients.”

Earlier, we reported that the Dubai Land Department planned to use blockchain technology for land and property registration, and it seems like Dubai is on the fast-track towards becoming one of the world leaders in blockchain adoption.