The rich nation state of Dubai has launched a joint initiative by the Department of Economic Development in Dubai and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) in collaboration with Smart Dubai and IBM.
Called Dubai Blockchain Business Registry Project, the initiative allows relevant authorities to store and update company registration information. Mohamed Alqaizi, IT Director at Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, said in a statement:
“We studied multiple options, case studies and researches aiming to achieve the best results in facilitating business registration in Dubai.
The results are promising; we built the foundation for a first-of-its-kind unified business ledger where any entity locally and globally can join, and be part of Dubai’s vision to be the Blockchain capital of the world as part of the Dubai Blockchain strategy 2016.”
The Dubai Blockchain strategy was launched in 2016 by the Crown Prince of Dubai with the aim of establishing Dubai as the first city to be fully powered by blockchain technology by 2020.
In line with that strategy, they’ve launched a blockchenized land registry and a blockchain issued digital currency, sometimes with the assistance of Ethereum’s ConsenSys.
Here, the blockchenized business registry was in collaboration with IBM, which might suggest it is based on Hyperledger, but technical details are not provided.
What participants emphasize instead is the ability of blockchain tech to allow for wide collaboration between different entities. Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of the Department of Economic Development, said:
“The Blockchain Corporate Registry provides a template for collaboration between government departments, government-related entities and the private sector to reinforce Dubai as a hub for business expansion and entrepreneurship.”
They say the blockchainized companies registry will streamline the process of setting up and operating a business, facilitate digital exchange of trade licenses and related documentation, as well as ensure regulatory compliance across Dubai’s business ecosystem.
“This achievement is the result of our relentless efforts to build synergies that leverage the strengths of diverse public and private sector partners to fast-track Dubai’s journey to becoming one of the smartest cities in the world,” said Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO of DSOA.
While Amr Refaat, General Manager at IBM Middle East, stated: “We see blockchain as an enabling foundation for providing seamless digital experiences to existing businesses and new investors and entrepreneurs.
This initiative will enhance collaboration and efficiency among government entities and provide transparency, security and visibility in government transactions.”
This is the world’s first companies registry running on the blockchain as far as we are aware, but details are severely lacking, so it isn’t clear how exactly the blockchain is being utilized.
As they all emphasize collaboration, presumably it is making easier for different departments to be on the same page, so potentially increasing speed and efficiency while reducing costs.
It is a pilot, however, with it gradually expanding, beginning with its first use by The Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, which oversees the integrated free zone technology park.
So many will be interested to see how this pilot progresses and what are the end results, as far as the bottom line is concerned, which may include speed and convenience.