Dubai residents will soon have the means to make payments for school fees, bills and other retail purchases with emCash, a state-developed blockchain-based digital currency.
The UAE’s first official credit bureau – emCredit – under the Dubai Department of Economic Development is pushing its official blockchain-encrypted state digital currency emCash for wider adoption by rolling out point-of-sale (PoS) devices at government storefronts across Dubai.
PoS devices will also be deployed at retail storefronts, enabling both citizens and residents of Dubai to make purchases following a partnership with blockchain payments provider Pundi X , Trade Arabia reported on Monday.
A spokesperson for the state-backed subsidiary emCredit stated:
To be the world’s first city to offer blockchain-based payment solutions to our residents is an exciting moment for Dubai…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.
As reported by CCN in October 2017, emCash was developed as Dubai’s first blockchain-based digital currency as a digital equivalent to the dirham, the UAE’s fiat currency.
While UAE residents use the digital currency via a smartphone app ‘emPay’, the blockchain enabling the digital currency is compatible with shared ledgers to record transactions instantaneously while ‘control over payments is not limited to any single member in the emPay ecosystem,” emCredit chief executive Muna Al Qassab explained at the time.
The entire ecosystem consisting of the digital currency, the smartphone application and the PoS terminals will see development and testing before their approval by government regulators this financial year.
The development comes at a time when the Smart Dubai office, a government initiative led by the Crown Prince of Dubai, has approved a citywide blockchain payments platform connecting all 38 government entities, partnering financial institutions and other municipal departments in the UAE’s largest and most populous city. In this particular use-case, the blockchain deployed is compatible with both public and permissioned blockchains using open-source Hyperledger and public Ethereum tech.