Smart Dubai and IBM launch blockchain-as-a-service platform
Dubai Blockchain Platform will offer UAE-hosted, security-compliant blockchain service for all
Smart Dubai and IBM have launched the Dubai Blockchain Platform, the first government-endorsed blockchain platform as-a-service in the UAE.
The Dubai Blockchain Platform will run on an IBM cloud environment, hosted in the UAE, and will be used for government blockchain projects and offered to the private sector.
The platform is intended to allow organisations to access blockchain technology which can scale from testing and development into full production, while ensuring that data resides in the UAE, on a platform which is compliant with Dubai government's Information Security Regulation (ISR).
IBM said that it will build an IBM Cloud environment in the UAE in order to deliver the blockchain service. The platform will run on IBM's mainframe technology, LinuxONE, which is capable of running more than 6.2 billion web transactions per day.
Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office (SDO), said: "The Dubai Blockchain Platform we are launching today with IBM - who bring a wealth of insight and expertise in the advanced tech industries - drives us forward in our mission and allows us to power all blockchain applications in the city from one united portal."
The Dubai Pay Blockchain Settlement and Reconciliation System, officially launched on 23rd September, 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.
HE Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment (SDG), said: "As Dubai persists on its path to becoming a world leader in the industries of the future, Blockchain technology will occupy an increasingly significant status in Governments' and organiations' day-to-day undertakings, as well as in individuals' everyday lives.
"Blockchain is steadily moving towards becoming a multibillion market by 2019 and we, at Smart Dubai, have successfully embedded the technology in numerous services, the latest of which was the advanced ‘Dubai Pay Blockchain Settlement and Reconciliation System', which eliminates friction from financial processes between government entities through automation and minimal human intervention. And with the launch of the Dubai Blockchain Platform today, we will be one step closer to implementing Blockchain-powered services and experiences into citizens' day-to-day lives," Lootah added.
IBM is the official Blockchain Strategic Partner for Dubai government. Smart Dubai aims to run all applicable government transactions on blockchain and make Dubai a global benchmark for city-wide blockchain implementation.
Amr Refaat, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan, said that the new service will help to meet growing demand for a simple, lower cost way for organisations to adopt blockchain technology.
"As private and public sector both explore blockchain and move beyond pilots and proofs of concept to production, there is increasing demand for blockchain-as-a-service. This frees them from having to worry about the complexity of operating a blockchain, such as dealing with platform integration, patches, security and operational aspects, and enables them to focus on their core business," Refaat said.
"It will also enable private organisations and government entities to transition their blockchain testing and development into full-scale implementation, while complying with Dubai government's own security standards."
"Blockchain provides an added layer of trust and transparency among government organisations and businesses and helps make collaboration more efficient. The new IBM Blockchain-based service will enable organisations to keep their data in-country and conduct transactions locally," he added.