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The History of Blockchain in the UAE – A look back in Time 

Last Updated on February 23, 2024 by Hamza Khan


While many governments are still debating whether cryptocurrencies are viable, the ever-progressive UAE has adopted crypto and blockchain, setting the standard for others to follow. In 2016, Dubai launched the “Blockchain Strategy 2020” and has achieved most of its goals.

Blockchain technology is a familiar idea in the UAE market; Bitcoin, the most well-known blockchain-based cryptocurrency worldwide, has been used for transactions since its inception. Please keep reading to learn more about blockchain in the UAE, how it started, and the UAE’s foundation as a leader of the crypto scene in the MENA region.

The Origin of Blockchain in the UAE

Satoshi Nakamoto developed modern cryptocurrencies in 2008 by fusing the idea of blockchains with other technology. With the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009, this technology achieved broad recognition and adoption in many countries. For 20 years, the UAE has established itself as a key Middle Eastern centre for investment, real estate, and the financial industry.

The journey of digital transformation began in 1999 when the Dubai government revealed its ICT plan. It eventually developed into the Dubai Internet City and Dubai E-government, launched in different stages. Furthermore, the UAE government quickly recognized the promise of blockchain technology, and steps have been taken to nationalize that technology. The UAE has demonstrated that it is a pioneer in embracing new technologies. For instance, The “Pizza Guys” was the first eatery in the United Arab Emirates to accept Bitcoin as payment in 2014.

Additionally, the first Bitcoin exchange, Igot, was created in the same year in the United Arab Emirates to provide a unique chance to convert digital currency into actual money. In an endeavour to become the first digital government by 2021, the Dubai administration revealed an ambitious plan to use blockchain for all official papers in the fall of 2016.

Furthermore, it established the Global Blockchain Council that same year, a group of banks, government organizations, and technology companies. Since then, the city has experimented with many ground-breaking blockchain projects, investigating cutting-edge use cases in a variety of dissimilar industries, including municipal services, healthcare, and education.

How Is The UAE Government Implementing Blockchain Technology in the Region?

The UAE government quickly recognized the promise of blockchain technology and has created several initiatives to nationalize that technology. To convert 50% of government transactions into a blockchain platform by 2021, H.H. Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum announced

The Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021″ in April 2018.

The UAE government has also openly encouraged the private sector to use blockchain technology. According to a report by Aisha Bin Basher, the blockchain-based economy experienced tremendous growth in 2019. More than 600 enterprises with a combined market value of several billion US dollars are engaged on the blockchain.

Ultimately, the UAE has always embraced futuristic and other forward-moving technology without excluding cryptocurrency and blockchain. It continues to lay a foundation for a thriving blockchain ecosystem that will provide alternative means of exchange and retail crypto transactions for users within the country.

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