The National Bank of Dubai (NBD), one of the largest banking groups in the Middle East by assets volume, has reportedly become the first bank in the region to successfully implement Blockchain technology in a check-issuance system to prevent fraud, local news outlet Arabian Business reported Saturday, April 21.

According to Arabian Business, the system works by means of printing a unique Quick Response (QR) code on each check and putting the records on Blockchain. The so-called “Cheque Chain” technology is designed to provide higher authenticity of the issued checks, as well as to the security standards across the UAE banking sector.

According to the NBD official statement, the bank has registered around one million checks on Cheque Chain in the first month of the pilot deployment. Following the successful test, NBD is looking for opportunities to roll out the Blockchain-powered banking technology across other UAE financial institutions.

Abdulla Qassem, NBD’s group chief operating officer noted the importance of the innovative technology deployment and highlighted that NBD bank is the first bank that offered such a service in the region. Dubai has been working with blockchain technology since very long time. But on Tuesday, the Department of Economic Development (DED) has unveiled a project known as ‘Dubai Blockchain Business Registry.’ Dubai 2 300×200 – Dubai: First City in the World to Be Powered by Blockchain Technology

The intention is to help businesses and entrepreneurs to settle in the country if they want to make businesses. With blockchain technology, the registration process will now be handled with distributed ledger technology, reducing times and making it easier for investors to get the approval to start a business in the city.

The statement released by the Government of Dubai reads as follows:

“The initiative seeks to empower the Unified Commercial Registry (UCR) project, the first blockchain-enabled trade license repository launched by DED [Department of Economic Activity], to store and update company registration information issued by DED as well as the free zone authorities in Dubai.”

The pilot project will be first implemented by the technology park, one of the most important free economic zones located in Dubai and in the region.

“The Unified Commercial Registry is a foundation for the business ledger, led by the Department of Economic Development to usher in the future of business in Dubai, UAW and the world,” said Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED. “With the Blockchain Corporate Registry, investment as well as doing business in Dubai will become a seamless and smart experience, and testimony to successful innovation.”

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This is not the first time that Dubai works with blockchain technology to improve businesses, services and reduce bureaucracy. As we wrote at UseTheBitcoin, Dubai has decided to create a virtual Business-to-Business (B2B) marketplace for travellers. Reducing paper transactions should be the focus of banks in Dubai before adopting Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, experts have said.

The emerging technology was discussed along with the predicted impact of cryptocurrencies by a Smart Dubai panel hosted by Xische & Co, a collective examining change in future innovation and culture.

While the private sector retains a certain fear factor towards Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, more transactions completed via the technology are inevitable as the financial sector evolves, panellists said.

Read more: Bank initiative seeking to remove Dh65.4 billion in cash from UAE streets

“Many transactions still require paper in Dubai, so bringing in this kind of technology has huge potential.”

Adopting a paperless Dubai Crypto Cryptocurrency UAE Blockchain “Blockchain technology” future 2018 2020 2021 Bank Banking “Bank Account” lifestyle leader leadership transactions “send money” “transfer money” summit “crypto summit” development developing “accept bitcoin” tech technology ecommerce opportunity support “next generation” event coinsbank system without the need for chequebooks, before Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are adopted, should be the primary focus of the banking sector Smart Dubai officials said.

Although many businesses still accept cheques, other countries have phased out the payment form by making it an expensive process and charging as much as 25 Euros (Dh114) to cash a cheque.

The secure technology enhances trust among participants on the network, which is an attractive option for banking institutions and customers.

“Whether we like it or not, and whether the banks like it or not, Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are here, and they are here to stay,” said Ali Sajwani, founder and CEO of Grape Technology.

“Dubai will be ahead of the rest when developing the control and regulation of this area.”


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