What is Blockchain?
According to IBM and Forbes, blockchain is a shared immutable real-time ledger for recording the history of financial transactions, contracts, physical assets, supply chain info, etc. It provides a permissioned network with known identities. There is no one person or party in charge of the entire chain. It is open and everyone in the chain can see the detail of each record or what is known as a block.
Each block is time stamped and encrypted. The only person who can edit a block is the one that owns it. Owners gain access to their block through a private key that only they have. When there are changes to an individual block, everyone’s distributed blockchain is updated and synced in real time.
Government blockchain strategies
The UAE Government adopted blockchain technology in conducting its transactions. To aid this move, it launched the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 and Dubai Blockchain Strategy. The Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 aims to capitalise on the blockchain technology to transform 50 per cent of government transactions into the blockchain platform by 2021. The Dubai Blockchain Strategy will help Dubai to be the first city fully powered by Blockchain by 2020 and make Dubai the happiest city on earth. The strategy will be using three strategic pillars: government efficiency, industry creation, and international leadership.
As part of its efforts to adopt the latest technologies and innovation practices at the global level, Dubai Future Foundation established the Global Blockchain Council to explore, discuss current and future applications and organise transactions through the blockchain platform. The Council will facilitate transactions within the various sectors of financial and non-financial sectors as well as increase efficiency and reliability levels. The council consists of 46 members, which include government entities, international companies, leading UAE banks, free zones, and international blockchain technology firms.
Blockchain-based projects in the UAE
Vehicle history blockchain project
Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is working on a project to create a vehicle lifecycle management system using the blockchain technology. The project aims to provide car manufacturers, dealers, regulators, insurance companies, buyers, sellers and garages with a transparent record about the vehicle’s history from the manufacturer to the scrap yard. This blockchain-based system will help boost transparency and trust in vehicle transactions, prevent disputes and lower the cost of services. It tracks ownership, sale and accident history to create smart and more efficient systems for supply chains. The system is part of Dubai10X initiatives and is expected to be completed by 2020.