2 May, 2018
The city of Dubai is set to roll out more than a dozen blockchain services over the next two years. Smart City, the government agency tasked with developing the initiative, has partnered with IBM and ConsenSys to develop applications that will improve the efficiency of a litany of civic activities.
According to Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai, “The applications are in various fields, some of them are in RTA, road and transport, some of them are in energy, health and education. These 20-use cases are under pilot, and we are looking forward to see the results so we can scale it.” The deadline for this new strategy is 2020, but Smart Dubai has already implemented blockchain in government for land registry transactions. Over time it plans to manage all visa applications, bill payments, and license renewals with blockchain applications.
The benefits of blockchain in government are well documented. It’s a faster, streamlined, and more secure method of running the digital side of bureaucracies that can otherwise be difficult to navigate. The National reports that, in Dubai, “the move to blockchain […] is expected to improve the delivery of basic government services, saving over 25 million productivity hours per year.” This could save the emirate as much as $1.5 billion, much of which can be attributed to going paperless.
Digitizing an entire government is still a massive challenge, however, and to that end the city has established a platform called Blockchain as a Service. Partnering with local firms like ArabianChain, tech startups around the world will collaborate to develop the infrastructure necessary for large-scale blockchain implementation. RSK Labs, CrossVerify, and members of the Global Blockchain Council like Microsoft and Cisco are hard at work to make blockchain in government a reality in Dubai.
Dubai, which has been nicknamed the “city of the future,” will earn its reputation by becoming the blockchain capital of the world. At this rate, the ‘future’ is just around the corner.
Image credit: Dubai Skyline by Fariz Safarulla, Flickr.