Dubai: Smart Dubai and IBM launched the Dubai Blockchain Platform on Tuesday, the first government-endorsed blockchain platform as-a-service in the UAE.

Delivered through an IBM Cloud environment and built locally in the UAE, the platform will serve as a stepping stone for organisations in the UAE to transition their blockchain testing and development into full-production, Smart Dubai said in a statement.

It will also transform and digitise applicable government processes and citizen services.

Dubai has been leading efforts to encourage the use of blockchain, with a vision to make the emirate a paperless government by 2021. As part of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, for which IBM was announced the official Blockchain Strategic Partner, Dubai has seen the launch of various blockchain applications in a number of government entities across different sectors, including roads and transport, energy, healthcare and education.

The new Dubai Blockchain Platform will help integrate digitised services and experiences run on IBM Blockchain into citizens’ day-to-day lives. Organisations will also benefit from keeping their data in-country and conducting transactions locally, and in turn, lower operational costs.

The platform will conform to the Information Security Regulation (ISR) standards issued by the Dubai Government. It will also be powered by IBM’s mainframe technology, LinuxONE, which is capable of running more than 6.2 billion web transactions per day.

The Dubai Pay Blockchain Settlement and Reconciliation System, officially launched on September 23, will be one of the first projects to migrate onto the Dubai Blockchain Platform. Through this service, a process that used to take entities approximately 45 days to reconcile and settle payments with other government entities, banks and financial institutions, is now reduced to real time.

“Guided by the forward-thinking vision of [the country’s leaders], Smart Dubai has been moving rapidly towards our main objective of transforming the emirate into a full-fledged smart city that tops global competitiveness and happiness indexes,” said Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director-General of the Smart Dubai Office (SDO).