Some local regulators out there want nothing to do with cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, the local government of Dubai has veered in quite the other direction and creating a new cryptocurrency of its own. The increasingly tech-friendly city will reportedly launch its own version of bitcoin called “emCash.”

Residents of Dubai will be able to use emCash as legal tender. They will be able to pay for a number services, including both governmental and nongovernmental ones. This is what Ali Ibrahim, the Deputy Director General of Dubai Economy, claims. The new cryptocurrency will allow people to pay for everyday things like coffee, as well as completing money transfers. It will also enable them to pay for bigger expenses, like utility bills.

“The fast-paced environment and incredible willingness to adopt innovative technology has made Dubai the perfect place for us to do business,” Ibrahim says. “This project is a great example of the ambition we have met here, together we are essentially creating a whole new economic ecosystem.”

Ibrahim says that emCash will allow for financial transactions that are faster, less expensive, and more secure. It will show off the huge benefits of countries embracing cryptocurrencies for corporations, governments and consumers.

Contactless Payments

People will be able to complete transactions via contactless payments, too. This is thanks to a new partnership between Emcredit Ltd, Dubai Economy’s subsidiary, and a United Kingdom-based company called Object Tech Group Ltd.

Users will be able to use the near field communication (NFC) technology on their smartphones. Merchants can receive payments of the digital currency in real time. There would also be no need to go through an intermediary.

“It will change the way people live and do business in Dubai, and mark a giant leap for the city in harnessing game-changing innovations to improve the ease of business and quality of life,” Ibrahim added.

According to Emcredit, emCash will decrease the amount of fraud that can happen as well as curb inflation. That’s because the system issues the virtual currency in real time, and it’s directly linked to actual demand.

It will be interesting to see what happens after the rollout of emCash. Dubai appears to be inching closer to becoming the FinTech hub of the Middle East.

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