IBM Seals Trade Finance Blockchain Deal With Dubai

IBM has announced a blockchain initiative in the UAE for a trade finance and logistics project with Dubai Customs and Dubai Trade.

The initiative will explore the import and re-export of goods into and out of Dubai using Hyperledger Fabric, a collaborative open-source project to advance blockchain technologies, and IBM Cloud.

The blockchain solution will transmit shipment data to allow key stakeholders to receive real-time information about the state of goods and the status of individual shipments.

The project aims to replace paper-based contracts with smart contracts and leverages IBM Watson’s Internet of Things (IoT) for device-reported data to update or validate smart contracts. The blockchain initiative will also see IBM work with du, a UAE telecommunications service provider conveying data from the IoT, Emirates NBD Bank as the letter of credit issuing bank, and others.

In February 2016, the Dubai government announced its intention to position itself as a blockchain hub. It wants to execute all transactions on the blockchain by 2020. Amr Refaat, general manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan, says the initiative is revolutionary. “IBM believes that blockchain will do for transactions what the Internet did for information.”