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Dubai advances blockchain strategy

Dubai plans to execute all its transaction on a blockchain by 2020 as part of its Dubai Blockchain strategy


 The government wants to position Dubai as a blockchain hub
The government wants to position Dubai as a blockchain hub

The blockchain solution transmits real-time data about the state of goods

The aim of the solution is to replace paper-based contracts with smart contracts

Government executives predict blockchain will disrupt the area of contract management

IBM has teamed with Dubai Customs and Dubai Trade to further the use of block technology for the import and re-export process of goods in and out of Dubai. In addition, IBM announced it will be working with other UAE firms to promote blockchain take-up in the region including Emirates NBD, du, Aramex, and Banco Santander.


The aim of the trade finance and logistics blockchain-based solution is to replace paper-based contracts with smart contracts; leverage Watson IoT for device-reported data to update or validate smart contracts; and integrate all the key trade process stakeholders from the ordering stage, in which the importer obtains a letter of credit from its bank, through the intermediary stages of freight and shipping, and ending with customs and payment.


Using Hyperledger Fabric and IBM Cloud, the blockchain solution transmits shipment data allowing key stakeholders to receive real-time information about the state of goods and the status of the shipment.


One year ago, the Dubai government announced its intent to position itself as a blockchain hub and to embrace the technology. As part of this declaration, the Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation established the Global Blockchain Council of which IBM is a member. Furthermore, Dubai plans to execute all its transactions on a blockchain by 2020, as a part of its Dubai Blockchain Strategy.


“The bank has always had a culture of innovation and several of the bank’s most successful products and features can be attributed to this forward-thinking mindset,” said Ali Sajwani, group chief information officer, Emirates NBD Group. “We are excited to participate in the ecosystem on streamlining the trade finance process using the futuristic blockchain technology, which has the potential of transforming the way we conduct business between heterogeneous entities.”


A recent blockchain study, Building Trust in Governments, conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), found that several governmental organisations are embracing blockchain technology to promote more extensive collaboration. The vast majority (90 per cent) of governmental organisations plan to invest in blockchain for use in financial transaction management, asset management, contract management and regulatory compliance by 2018.


Meanwhile, seven in 10 government executives predict blockchain will “significantly disrupt” the area of contract management, which is often at the intersection of the public and private sector.


“IBM believes that blockchain will do for transactions what the internet did for information. Dubai is at the forefront of adopting this transformative technology as government agencies and businesses realise the need to have a shared secured ledger that establishes accountability and transparency while streamlining business processes,” added Amr Refaat, general manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan.


“Our collaboration today with Dubai organisations across different sectors in trade finance and transportation will showcase how blockchain will revolutionise the way businesses interact with one another and with their customers and suppliers.”


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