Dubai credit bureau emCredit teamed with blockchain payment provider Pundi X and fintech company ebooc to create a new digital currency residents can use to make retail purchases and pay their bills.
The currency, emcash, will serve as a “stable, digital equivalent” of the United Arab Emirates’ dirham. It will be accepted for in-store retail transactions as well as to pay utility, telecommunication bills and school fees in government shopfronts.
An emCredit representative in a statement called the launch “an exciting moment for Dubai” which will deliver increased “convenience and securities to customers and merchants”.
Pundi X said in a press release a number of payment terminals are expected to begin rolling out in shops immediately, with an increase in availability expected in the coming years.
The deployment is a first for Pundi X in the Middle East, and comes months after the company raised $35 million in startup funding from a public token sale in January. The company already shipped its payment terminals to retail partners in Singapore, Brazil, Africa and Korea, and is targeting the rollout of more than 100,000 terminals across the globe within three years.