EmCash, the worlds first government-backed cryptocurrency is launching in Dubai. While some can contend that the first government-backed crypto has been released by Venezuela, this is not a serious or official release in a stable or modern society.
The Venezuelan economy is crippled, and President Maduro is trying to enforce a broken currency on banks and citizens, who are refusing. Nobody is using or paying any attention to the Petro, and it is, for all intents and purposes, an imaginary coin. Dubai’s EmCash, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. Further, the nation has an infrastructure in place and a crypto friendly mentality to make the national cryptocurrency a success.
EmCash – The first successfully launched government crypto
Following a recent press release, xPOS devices are being launched and sent to retailers across Dubai which will allow customers to pay for goods and services using the state cryptocurrency, EmCash. Both public and private services can be paid for using the digital currency. The UAE will be the first nation to have a fully functional state cryptocurrency on a large scale.
The three organizations responsible for rolling out the initiative are emCredit (Dubai’s credit bureau), Pundi X, and Ebooc Fintech & Loyalty Labs. The company supplying the digital payment devices (xPOS) to retailers is Pundi X. Ebooc is providing the distributed ledger technology services and management while the credit bureau is overseeing the financial element of the new government-backed cryptocurrency. According to Pundi X CEO Zac Cheah –
“Bringing blockchain-based payments technology into the government sphere is a major development for the technology. But to be able to bring it to one of the great cities of the world and the most advanced economy in the Middle East makes today an historic moment for the real-world application of a technology that has promised so much potential until now.”
Other DLT innovations in the UAE
The UAE is certainly among the most advanced in terms of blockchain adoption, along with Estonia and Japan. Estonia is arguably the furthest ahead in government blockchain innovation, having adopted DLT before most had heard of the technology. However, they have been unable to create a government-backed cryptocurrency, being blocked on numerous occasions by the European Central Bank.
EmCash is not the only DLT project that the UAE is embarking on. A number of initiatives are in place, and there is currently a plan in place to create the world’s first passport-free airport in Dubai. The Smart Dubai blockchain project is looking at ways to utilize DLT in all spheres of government. By 2021, they aim to become world leaders in blockchain and the internet of things, though they already appear to be further ahead than any other nation. By the same year, they are aiming towards 50% of government transactions to take place on the blockchain. The country is currently migrating all government documents to an online distributed ledger, streamlining government services, saving money, and vastly reducing needless labor.