Dubai has launched its very own cryptocurrency, emCash.

At a time when most governments are struggling to deal with the rise of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Dubai is proving it remains ahead of the game by launching its own contactless payment systemin partnership with Emcredit and UK-based firm Object Tech.

“The cryptocurrency will be considered legal tender for payment of services, from coffee and children’s school fees to utility charges and money transfers”, said Ali Ibrahim, deputy director general of Dubai Economy.

Citizens of the United Arab Emirates will be able to use the digital token (emCash) via an emPay wallet app, which allows payments through the NFC (near field communication) option on their smartphones.

Payments will be received immediately without intermediaries and transactions will be recorded instantaneously in the emPay ecosystem.

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

Dubai is currently one of the global leaders in blockchain technology and aims to become the first blockchain-powered government in the world by year 2020.

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