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Dubai gets ready to start allowing crypto payments and ICOs

The Bitcoinist reports that Dubai will enable its citizens and residents to make digital payments for retail purchases, bills, and even school fees with a state-backed cryptocurrency emCash thanks to a partnership between Emcredit – Dubai’s Credi Bureau and two blockchain-related firms.

The city is entering into a partnership with payment provide Pundi X – a company which has developed a POS device for exclusive usage of emcash. The other company in the agreement is Ebooc Fintech & Loyalty Lab which is providing blockchain-based technology as well as loyalty solutions.

Read: Crypto indexing and weighed baskets quickly emerging as the norm

Dubai active with blockchain

In February, Dubai’s transportation authority revealed its serious plans to create a blockchain-based vehicle management system. It unveiled plans to create a blockchain-based vehicle management system, allowing owners to track their vehicle throughout the duration of its existence from construction to destruction.

The Bitcoinist also reported Dubai officially announcing it would create a virtual business-to-business marketplace for the travel industry, with an additional distribution channel for hotels within two years.

In the finance field, Dubai’s largest bank – Emirates NBD, went live at scale with a blockchain-based project intended to reduce cheque-related fraud.

If the emcash initiative is successful, Dubai will be the pioneer city in the world to offer its residents cryptocurrency services with a stable digital asset, says the Bitcoinexchangeguide.

Ebooc fintech & Loyalty Labs will produce the Pundi X Point of Sale (POS) devices that will be used to complete the em credit payment ecosystem. This networks will power emcash whose operations will be similar to that of the Dirham (AED), the official currency of UAE.

Read: UAE, Saudi, elevating their game with crypto and blockchain

New ICO rules

The UAE announced plans to introduce new rules that would permit initial coin offerings (ICOs) as a fundraising method for domestic companies, reports COINDESK.

Intended for introduction in 2019, the new rules would allow firms to raise capital via crypto token sales as an alternative to traditional methods such as IPOs, according to a Reuters report published Monday.

Read: Which Alt Coin is threatening to overtake both Ethereum and Bitcoin?

The news was revealed by the head of the UAE’s securities watchdog, Obaid Saif al-Zaabi, who said:

“The board of the Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority has approved considering ICOs as securities. As per our plan, we should have regulations on the ground in the first half of 2019.”

Reuters indicates that a double-whammy of low oil prices and lackluster equities markets in recent years have dampened IPO activity in the UAE. and across neighboring nations.

As well as providing a legal basis for ICOs, the country may also draw up a new law to boost the number of IPOs by allowing family owners sell up to 100% of firms under their control. The measure is currently awaiting approval from the prime minister’s office, Zaabi indicated.

If and when the new ICO regulations come into law, the move would mark the U.A.E. as one of the countries in the world to have brought in a regulatory framework for the blockchain funding method.