The city of Dubai has plans to launch its own digital currency. Emcash will be rolled out in the coming years and is being made possible by a state-backed firm called emcredit.
Emcash to be Launched Later This Year, Pending Full Approval
Those living in Dubai will soon be able to make payments for a plethora of goods and services using digital currency. The government there has backed the creation of emcash, which will be used to make various payments including traditional in-store purchases, utility bills, and even school fees.
The company behind the digital currency is called emcredit. They are working with the full blessing of the Dubai Department of Economic Development. According to Verdict, a spokesperson for the entity stated:
“To be the world’s first city to offer blockchain-based payment solutions to our residents is an exciting moment for Dubai. It confirms Dubai’s status as an international tech hub… Deploying cutting-edge technology such as blockchain is a key priority and is delivering benefits to our citizens in the form of convenience and securities to customers and merchants across Dubai.”
To help facilitate a gradual transition to using emcash, a point of sale device has been created by blockchain firm Pundi X. The device itself is imaginatively titled Pundi X POS. The firm is hoping to slowly issue more than 100,000 units over the coming years. For now, emcash is still being tested and waiting for full approval from local government and regulators. It is hoped that it will be ready to roll out later this financial year.
Those backing emcash hope that it will avoid the volatility associated with many other cryptocurrencies by being pegged to the value of the local currency (UAE dirham). The “stable” digital token will therefore not address any of the issues many in the digital asset community have with traditional, fiat forms of money.
Zac Cheah, the co-founder and CEO of Pundi X, believes that the Dubai digital currency represents a “major development” for blockchain technology. He went on to tell Verdict that the creation of emcash is a “historic moment” and that the token would finally deliver real-world results from much-hyped technological innovation that is blockchain.
Emcash is not the first effort at a state-backed cryptocurrency.
Venezuela famously tried to address their crippling financial issues earlier this year with the launch of the Petro digital currency. Each Petro is supposedly backed by the nation’s crude oil and precious metal reserves. However, the currency has been largely rejected by the international community and has had no discernible impact on Venezuela’s inflation crisis.
The stateless, borderless Bitcoin continues to represent a more popular alternative to either of the nation’s state-backed currencies.
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