By Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat
Smart Dubai and IBM have announced the Dubai Blockchain Platform, the first government-endorsed blockchain platform as-a-service in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Delivered through an IBM Cloud environment and built in the UAE, the enterprise platform will be a stepping stone for UAE organizations to transition their blockchain testing and development into full production.
The idea is to also transform and digitize government processes and citizen services.
Dubai has been leading efforts to encourage the use of blockchain, with a vision to make the emirate a paperless government by 2021. As part of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, for which IBM is the official Blockchain Strategic Partner, Dubai has already launched blockchain applications in a number of government entities, including roads and transport, energy, health care, and education.
The new Dubai Blockchain Platform will help integrate digitized services and experiences run on IBM Blockchain into citizens’ day-to-day lives. Organizations will also benefit from keeping their data in-country and conducting transactions locally, and in turn, lower operational costs.
The platform will conform to the Information Security Regulation (ISR) standards issued by the Dubai government. It will also be powered by IBM’s mainframe technology, LinuxOne, which is capable of running more than 6.2 billion web transactions per day.
The Dubai Pay Blockchain Settlement and Reconciliation System, officially launched on September 23, will be one of the first projects to migrate onto the Dubai Blockchain Platform. Through this service, a process that used to take entities approximately 45 days to reconcile and settle payments with other government entities, banks, and financial institutions is now reduced to real time.
“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 Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, director general of the Smart Dubai Office (SDO), in a statement.
Through the collaboration with IBM, Smart Dubai aims to run all applicable government transactions on blockchain and make Dubai a global benchmark for citywide blockchain implementation.