At a recent ceremony in Dubai, hosted by the Crown Prince His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Avanza Solutions and Smart Dubai Office. Smart Dubai Office is an integral part of Dubai’s overall push to become a fully-connected smart city. Dubai wants to create an entire “smart” ecosystem of economies, living, governance, environment, people, and mobility.
Avanza, a purveyor of financial services technology and custom innovative solutions, and Smart Dubai Office signed the MoU allowing Avanza to make a citywide blockchain payment platform a reality. Avanza already delivered a pilot project through the Dubai Future Accelerators program back in mid-February. That project was the blockchain payments platform Cipher. Cipher uses a proprietary blockchain, but also relies on executable distributed code contracts, implemented through both Hyperledger and Ethereum. At the signing ceremony, the Director General of Smart Dubai Office, Dr. Aisha Butti bin Bishr, said:
“I am confident with Avanza’s expertise in payment solutions combined with their Cipher blockchain platform, they will support the Smart Dubai Office with technology that not only bridges current gaps but also becomes a vital piece in Smart Dubai’s roadmap for payment processes in the near future.”
The first step for the Cipher-based payment platform was the already completed pilot, brought forth by Dubai Smart Government and Emirates NBD, the biggest retail banking franchise in Dubai. The next step will be for Smart Dubai Office to utilize Cipher across its 38 partner government and finance entities. The Managing Director and CMO of Avanza Solutions, Waqas Mirza, said:
“Taking on innovation led challenges is Avanza’s DNA. So much so, that we go out of our way to seek challenges that compel us to push boundaries of our imagination and competence. This passion instills into everything we do and this is why we are extremely happy and proud to be a part of this extraordinary program and take part in Dubai’s transformation to become the region’s technology and innovation hub.”
This project is squarely in line with the Crown Prince’s vision to turn Dubai into the first government in the world in which all applicable transactions are able to occur via blockchain technology. If all goes according to plan, Dubai will be a shining beacon of all the benefits blockchains bring.