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How Dubai Became the Cryptocurrency Leader in the Middle East

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While Bitcoin may be the poster boy for the global cryptocurrency market, it has successfully blazed a trail for others to follow. In fact, Zilliqa recently became the 28th individual cryptocurrency to achieve a market capitalisation of over $1 billion, while others are likely to follow suit in 2018.

At the heart of this trend is Blockchain's decentralised ledger technology, which underpins Bitcoin and has developed a host of innovative applications over the course of the last 18 months.

 

During this time, Dubai has moved to the forefront of the Blockchain and Bitcoin markets, as it continues to leverage these technologies across a host of markets. In this post, we'll look at some of these applications in closer detail while asking how Dubai has become a leading innovator in these fields.

From Real Estate to Tourism – How Dubai Continues to Innovate Using Bitcoin

Of course, Bitcoin trading has taken the financial markets by storm during the last two years, with this cryptocurrency alone having achieved a market value of $20,000 in December last year, as demand continued to soar across the globe.

Innovators in Dubai have sought to leverage Bitcoin and Blockchain in a number of new and unique ways, however, with the Aston Plaza & Residences development offering units in exchange for the prominent cryptocurrency last autumn.

Starting from around 30, 50 and 70 Bitcoins (each single unit had a value of around $4,940 at the time), an estimated 400 out of 1,113 properties were sold using this method during the first release phase, while Blockchain was simultaneously leveraged to create smart contracts between buyers and sellers. Similarly, Dubai's MAG Lifestyle Development recently stated that it is now ready to accept payments in approved Islamic cryptocurrencies, while applying a 5% discount to such purchases.

More recently, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has launched the innovative Tourism 2.0 platform, which is a Blockchain-enabled marketplace that connects potential buyers with hotels and tour operators in real-time.

Utilising Blockchain will help to create greater transparency and remove the need for a central authority, while also optimising efficiency and helping operators to successfully communicate live offers to their customers.

The Last Word

This is part of Dubai's so-called Tourism Vision 2020, which has set a goal of securing 20 million visitors to the region in the next two years.

Beyond this, the integration of Blockchain also reflects Dubai's desire to realise the full potential of this technology, with future applications including the transformation of government data and the storage of hospital records.

With Dubai also poised to introduce its own, globally accessible version of Bitcoin in the years ahead, there's no doubt that this technology will play a pivotal role in the nation's future growth.



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