The government of Dubai has announced plans to launch its own cryptocurrency called emCash, according to reports by local news media outlets.
The digital currency will be developed by Emcredit, a subsidiary of Dubai Economy, in partnership with UK-based Object Tech Group Ltd.
emCash will be used to pay for various government and non-government services in Dubai. It will also be usable through methods like contactless payments, and will be based “on the latest blockchain technology.” Users will access their emCash through the emPay wallet. That wallet will use your phone’s near field communication (NFC) chip to offer contactless payments over any ordinary smartphone.
emCash Changing The Way Business Is Done In Dubai
Ali Ibrahim, deputy director general of Dubai Economy, said emCash would reinforce Dubai’s status as a competitive destination for businesses:
“A digital currency has varied advantages faster processing, improved delivery time, and less complexity and cost. 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 the ease of business and quality of life. We are delighted to have Object Tech as our partner in this initiative and the Dubai Economy Accelerators programme. Obtaining the approval of other UAE authorities will be considered if required.”
Muna Al Qassad, the CEO of Emcredit Limited, also added that emCash would reduce fraud and inflation.
Meanwhile, Object Tech Group director and co-founder Tom Morgan is excited to work with Dubai on the project:
“This project is a great example of the ambition here; together we are essentially creating a whole new economic ecosystem,” said Morgan. “It will harness blockchain technology to make financial transactions cheaper, faster and more secure while demonstrating the huge advantages of embracing this technology for governments, business and customers alike. This is a key step towards creating a truly connected city.”
Dubai’s government has taken a pro-blockchain stance in recent years. They’ve hinted that they see blockchain and cryptocurrencies as the next major wave of paradigm-changing technologies. Dubai wants to be forward-thinking in the adoption of blockchain.
By embracing digital currency with emCash, Dubai aims to continue attracting fintech companies to the region. The city has quickly become a fintech hub for the eastern world. A few weeks ago, it made headlines for selling luxury apartments in exchange for bitcoin.
Ultimately, Dubai may be the first city to create its own official cryptocurrency – although it almost certainly won’t be the last.