While several countries around the world are still making their stance on whether to legalise digital currency or not, Dubai is on its way to unveil its very first official state cryptocurrency.
The government of Dubai has decided to develop an encrypted blockchain-powered digital currency called emCash, which will enable the citizens of the city to pay for both government and non-government services alike.
To be developed in partnership between UK-based blockchain startup Object Tech and Emcredit, a subsidiary of Dubai Economy, emCash will be based on the currently in trend blockchain technology and would require users to download a mobile wallet called emPay on their smartphones.
For the uninitiated, Dubai Economy is the government body that is responsible for planning and implementing the entire economic agenda of the emirate of Dubai.
According to a statement by Emcredit Ltd CEO Muna Al Qassab, they decided to choose blockchain for the digital currency as it ‘allows for shared ledgers so that control over payments is not limited to any single member in the emPay ecosystem and transactions are recorded instantaneously.”
Dubai Economy reveals that emPay will allow UAE residents to make varied payments, right from their daily coffee bills and their children’s school fee to utility charges and money transfers, through the near field communication (NFC) option in their smartphones.
With emCash, emPay mobile wallet users will be provided with an option of having a secure digital currency mode of payment, and merchants will be able to receive such payments in real time without having to waste time going through intermediaries.
Commenting on the advantages of having digital currency as a preferred mode of payment, Ali Ibrahim, deputy director general of Dubai Economy said, “A digital currency has varied advantages – faster processing, improved delivery time, less complexity and cost, to name a few. It will change the way people live and do business in Dubai, and mark a giant leap for the city in harnessing game-changing innovations to improve ease of business and quality of life.”
Interestingly, a while ago, there were some rumours in the market that India might soon launch its very own Bitcoin-Like currency called Lakshmi, named after the Hindu goddess of wealth.
According to several media reports, a group of experts at RBI are currently examining the possibility of cryptocurrency which would become an alternative to the Indian rupee for digital transactions, and unlike bitcoin which is a non-fiat digital currency, the new one will be fiat-cryptocurrency. Though there hasn’t been an official announcement from either the RBI or the government on the issue yet, but we will keep you posted whenever Lakshmi is officially announced. Till then, I guess, it is time to congratulate Dubai on entering the next era of digital payments.
This development was first reported in Cryptocoinnews.