DIFC Courts partners with Smart Dubai for world’s first blockchain court

The project aims to streamline judicial processes and improve efficiency



The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts has partnered with Smart Dubai to create the world’s first court using bitcoin database technology blockchain.

The two sides plan to integrate blockchain into the court to streamline judicial process, remove document duplications and increase efficiency.

They will also investigate the handling of disputes arising out of public and private blockchains using regulation and contractual terms encoded within a smart contract.

These contracts will be modelled by a joint taskforce to incorporate logic and allow for various exceptions and conditions to simplify dispute resolution.

“This taskforce is in line with our guiding principle to deliver courts as a service, powered by technology and extended through cooperation agreements and alliances,” said DIFC courts CEO and registrar Amna Al Owais.

“By harnessing blockchain technology, Dubai will be firmly positioned at the forefront of legaltech and judicial innovation, setting the standards for countries and judiciaries to follow.”

Blockchain is a distributed ledger where every transaction or input is recorded in a tamper and revision proof record shared between all parties.

The UAE has set a goal of using blockchain for half of government transactions by 2021, with Dubai going even further by pledging to use the technology for all government documents by 2020.

Read: UAE aims to use blockchain for 50% of government transactions

Middle East blockchain spending is set to double this year from $38.9m in 2017 to $80.8m in 2018, consultancy International Data Corporation said in a February report.

Read: Middle East and Africa blockchain spending to double in 2018

Looking further forward, regional spending is expected to reach $307m by 2021, representing a compound annual growth rate of 77.4 per cent in the 2016-2021 period.

Dubai has sought to position itself as a leader of the technology through the formation of the Global Blockchain Council and city-wide projects with technology companies.

Read: Blockchain’s big ambitions