IBM Launches Blockchain Initiative With Dubai’s Government

On February 7, 2017, IBM announced a blockchain initiative that will directly impact the advancement of Dubai’s governmental blockchain strategy. Collaborating partners of the new initiative include Dubai Customs, Dubai Trade, Emirates NBD, du, Aramex, and former R3 blockchain consortium member, Banco Santander.  

In the realm of trade finance, IBM is working with Dubai Customs, Dubai Trade, and its IT provider, DUTECH, to explore how blockchain technology can impact the logistics involved in Dubai’s process of importing and re-exporting goods. Using Hyperledger Fabric for smart contract development and IBM Cloud for shipment data, the blockchain solution would transmit the shipment data of cargo so that key stakeholders can track the state of the goods and check on the status of shipments in real time.

An example of how blockchain technology would facilitate this procedure can be understood by way of the process of importing fruit that would then be converted into juice for exportation. Stakeholders involved in the supply chain will receive timely updates as a shipment of fruit is exported from India to Dubai by sea, then manufactured into juice in a Dubaian facility, and finally exported as juice from Dubai to Spain by air.

IBM is also collaborating with du, a telecommunications service provider based in the UAE, to increase efficiency in the shipping of freight. This is done by replacing paper-based contracts with smart contracts, and then utilizing IBM’s Watson IoT to collect device-reported data (to validate smart contracts). This ensures that key stakeholders are able to receive real-time information from the ordering stage all the way to the finalization of payment.

Additionally, to coincide with the government’s proclamation in 2016 to become the world’s leading blockchain hub, Dubai plans to execute all its transactions on a blockchain by 2020, as part of its “Dubai Blockchain Strategy.”  

Ali Sajwani, Group Chief Information Officer, Emirates NBD Group, states:

“We are excited to participate in the ecosystem on streamlining the trade finance process using the futuristic blockchain technology, which has the potential of transforming the way we conduct business between heterogeneous entities.”

Leaders in Blockchain Adoption

Dubai’s adoption of this transformative technology extends to its neighboring countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. By using blockchain technology for contract management (addressing issues such as the failure to meet deadlines), Dubai and its collaborative partners can acquire increased transparency and efficiency to improve performance management.

Furthermore, IBM’s rapid expansion of its blockchain capabilities (finance, risk management, healthcare, etc.) will allow governments to explore new business models for providing services to citizens beyond the limits of the current technology.   

For more information, visit IBM.