Dubai, the Middle Eastern city known to be shoppers’ paradise, is expanding its fare to e-commerce, diversifying the shopping experience for enthusiasts. This is materializing with businesses collaborating with software development companies to incorporate innovations like blockchain into their operations. California-based blockchain expert HashCash Consultants is one such organizing roped in by the private sector. The company is implementing its product, HC Corporate Payment, to facilitate payments by cryptocurrency on the retail chain’s online platform.
Currently, the e-commerce market in UAE is underdeveloped, since the online shopping represents only 2% of the retail sector in the Middle East, compared to 15% in most developed western markets. It is a sector that is predicted to quadruple in the next two years. The competition will drive market growth, widen options for consumers, and increase consumer purchasing. E-commerce in UAE was valued at US$ 2.5 billion in 2014 and is speculated to reach US$ 10 billion in 2018. The market is expected to grow at 35% to 24 billion by 2020.
HC Corporate Payment is set to make B2B payments seamless, and enable real-time document sharing, instant reconciliation, and automation through smart contracts. It runs on the blockchain powered HC Net and digitizes the end-to-end trade process, uniting every participant on a single network. This drastically cuts down processing time and cost.
The other upside of taking retail to a blockchain platform is that it provides the option of making payments with cryptocurrency. Unlike fiat currency, each cryptocurrency has a unique identity which makes it impossible to duplicate. This property allows the owner of the cryptocurrency to track their money in the network at any given time. These transactions are validated using smart contracts, and its details are stored in the distributed ledger on a permanent basis. Reconciling transactions with other financial institutions is automated by HC Corporate Payment.
The private sector in Dubai is one of the most promising locations for the adoption of blockchain, largely because of the Smart Dubai initiative launched by its government. This step has propelled blockchain to be implemented in various sectors in the city, and instilled a trust in the fairly new technology which would have taken a longer time to see widespread acceptance in the region.