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Dubai Launches its Own Cryptocurrency

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In an article on its blog, blockchain-based payments platform Pundi X has announced the launch of a public sector digital asset in partnership with United Arab Emirates (UAE) credit bureau emCredit.

The two companies will work together with firms ebooc and loyalty labs for distribution of the system. The new development will enable Dubai citizens to pay for various items and bills using the XPOS devices built by Pundi X.

The digital asset, dubbed emcash, will be pegged to the UAE’s local currency, the dirham (AED) and function as a digital version of it. In this way, the cryptocurrency will not be subject to the usual volatility that cryptocurrencies typically face.

Singapore-based Pundi X’s XPOS terminals will also support payments in various other cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Pundi X’s PXS token. The move fits in with the UAE’s attempts to replace its reliance on oil reserves with other emerging sectors like blockchain.

On the development, Pundi X CEO Zac Cheah said:

“To be able to bring [blockchain-based payments] to one of the great cities of the world and the most advanced economy in the Middle East makes today a historic moment for the real-world application of a technology.”

Further testing by the Dubai government will determine the future of the system and upcoming regulations for cryptocurrencies in the new year may affect how payments are made.

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