Dubai selects IBM, Consensys for city-wide blockchain project

The partnership will see public and private sector firms roll out blockchain pilot projects throughout the year



The government-run Smart Dubai Office has announced the selection of IBM and Consensys for a city-wide plan to implement bitcoin database technology blockchain.

The move follows plans announced last year to use blockchain for all government documents by 2020.

Read: Dubai to use blockchain technology for all government documents by 2020

Under the agreement IBM will be the lead strategic partner and Consensys the city advisor for the project.

The first stage will involve Smart Dubai conducting workshops with government, semi-government and private organisations to identify services that can benefit the most from blockchain technology and educate the public and private sector communities.

Public and private sector firms will then roll out blockchain pilot projects throughout the year.

Smart Dubai said it would also launch a blockchain as a service platform for government entities to implement their projects.

“This effort will position Dubai as the pre-eminent blockchain powered government,” said HE Wesam Lootah, CEO of Smart Dubai Government Establishment. “This collaborative effort is crucial to ensuring that the city as a whole is moving in the same direction, taking advantage of synergies, and avoiding duplication of efforts and costs.”

Dubai’s partnership with IBM builds on previous agreements announced last month.

Read: Dubai entities team up with IBM on blockchain project

The US technology firm is also working with local telco du, logistics firm Aramex and bank Emirates NBD.

Blockchain, the database technology behind cryptocurrency bitcoin, is claimed to be tamper proof. Its backers say the technology could lead to safer and faster transactions.

Last month, Smart Dubai launched a blockchain challenge in partnership with global accelerator 1776 to identify new blockchain ideas from start-ups and bring them to Dubai.

It is planning to make Dubai a global hub for blockchain business, events and knowledge.

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