Dubai launches Blockchain strategy to become paperless by 2020

Hamdan unveils ambitious plan to save 25 million work hours annually through paperless transactions

Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai government on Wednesday said it will become paperless by shifting all transactions to Blockchain — an online encrypted database — by 2020.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, launched the Dubai Blockchain strategy to achieve a high degree of efficiency in government departments.

The strategy is based on three themes — efficiency, creating new specialised sectors and achieving global leadership. The strategy will improve efficiency by shifting 100 per cent of government transactions to Blockchain network by 2020 and encourage paperless transactions, cutting almost 100 million paper transactions annually.

The massive reduction in paper consumption will protect the environment and will also annually reduce 25 million work hours required in handling paper documents. This will boost productivity of employees and leave a positive impact on the national economy.

The second theme of the strategy aims to create 1,000 new work examples based on the use of the Blockchain network, allowing Emiratis, expatriates and investors to set up companies that provide valued services that will add to the national economy. This will help create thousands of jobs in various sectors, including real estate, banking and transport as well as urban planning, tourism, health care and consumer technological sectors.

The third theme will focus on achieving Dubai’s global leadership in the development and application of Blockchain networks.

The strategy is a joint project between the Dubai Future Foundation and Dubai Smart City Office. It comes in line with the Dubai Future Agenda that aims to transform the UAE into a global centre for designing the future.

Over the past two years, Dubai managed to define the features of the future cities as a unique role model and is still building on that model through exploring the future and keeping up to date and seizing all opportunities generated by the fourth industrial revolution to boost the effectiveness and efficiency, and save time, money and efforts within all public transactions, Shaikh Hamdan said.

The strategy aims to make life and work easier for people in Dubai; users will only need to enter personal data or business credentials once.

“We have tasked the Dubai Future Foundation with overseeing implementation of the strategy, and the Smart Dubai Office with its execution,” he said.

Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, vice-chairman of the Board of Trustees and managing director of Dubai Future Foundation, said, “The strategy will result in substantial economic saving that can be reinvested in value-added sectors and will contribute to saving millions of hours wasted in entering data and ensuring their veracity.

It will also create new economic fields and businesses as the volume of Blockchain market is expected to hit $300 million over the course of the next five years.”

The Blockchain strategy, also known as online transaction, is one of the most important innovations in the 21ft century and one of the most important technological solutions related to the fourth industrial revolution.

The technology is a safe, cloud-based network through which transactions related to government documents, shares and financial products, trade and contracts and digital currency (Bitcoin) are implemented, processed and verified.

The strategy will shift government banking services and private sector services into a new phase of efficiency, effectiveness and easiness. It will facilitate linking services within various government and private sectors to form together a package of highly valued services for customers.

According to the strategy, the firs blockchain government network will be set up, enabling various government and private agencies and bodies to convert their services into currencies that can be traded and replaced with other services.

What is Blockchain technology

It allows you to make and record a transaction — such as a monetary transfer or the sale of a house. The recorded transaction becomes a permanent entry within the system, with any new transaction linked to the previous one. The linked transactions become a block and form a chain, with only one successor block allowed to link to a predecessor block.

These recorded transactions become part of an ever growing, unchangeable and encrypted ledger that can be viewed by anyone with the proper access. The ‘ledger’ is stored across a network of computers using cloud computing technology.

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