A government and city-led project titled Smart Dubai with the aim of making Dubai the “smartest and happiest” city in the world this week saw the government’s payment portal become blockchain-based.
Online payment portal DubaiPay is now going to be using blockchain technology for real-time transactions, which is yet another step towards Dubai’s primary aim of becoming the world’s first ever blockchain powered government by the year 2020.
Blockchain technology to complement current operations
Smart Dubai and its government arm Smart Dubai Government Establishment (SDG) is currently in the process of working on 20 use cases for blockchain technology that will complement operations already in existence.
Director of the smart services enablement department with SDG, Mira Sultan Obaid Abdul Rahman spoke to Gulf News recently, expanding on plans that include increasing government efficiency by transferring all transactions to the blockchain.
The Department of Finance would be working on reconciliations, settlements, refunds, and disputes behind the scenes, and the payment and reconciliation process would take anywhere up to 45 days from the point where a user makes a payment.
Speaking to Gulf News, Rahman claimed that “the DoF has to do some manual work such as exchanging files between them, banks and the entities before a final payment is made to the entity.”
“There is no real-time monitoring of the transaction in the old system, and with blockchain, the whole process can be monitored in real time.”
Five million transactions processed
The DubaiPay portal of the Smart Dubai project currently handles transactions from up to 27 government agencies, as well as 14 non-government organizations.
Two of Dubai’s government departments have reportedly processed five million transactions using the blockchain-based system, and it’s expected that more departments and agencies will participate in the coming months.
Director General of Smart Dubai, Dr. Aisha Bent Butti Bin Bishr commented that “Dubai has long been a trailblazer in embracing avant-garde technologies – most notably those of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
The Smart Dubai Director-General concluded by saying that blockchain is “one of the most promising of these technologies, attracting more investments every year.”
The nations Road and Transport Authority has already announced plans for a blockchain-based system for vehicle management, while the largest bank in Dubai, Emirates NBD has already launched a blockchain-based anti cheque fraud project.
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