Dubai is moving to become a fintech hub in the Middle East (and beyond). Dubai embraces blockchain technology for various financial transactions. Blockchain is increasingly recognized for its potential in the world of business and finance. It offers more than just cryptocurrency investments.

Indeed, Dubai is allowing for real estate sales entirely in Bitcoin. Plus, the local government of Dubai embraces blockchain in a more tangible way. Dubai is issuing its own cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, in the United States, discussions around blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and regulation continue to drive conversations at the highest levels.

Dubai Issues Its Own Cryptocurrency

Recently, Dubai announced that it will issue its own cryptocurrency, called emCash. This currency uses blockchain technology. People can use the cryptocurrency to pay for government and non-government services. The cryptocurrency results from development agreement between a subsidiary of Dubai Economy and a company based in the U.K.

This is just the latest move as Dubai embraces blockchain. Earlier this year, apartments in a development in Dubai started selling for Bitcoin.

Real estate is one of the industries that stand to change the most thanks to blockchain technology. After all, smart contracts can manage title deeds and other parts of a real estate property transaction. Blockchain technology potentially cuts down on real estate fraud. It could also shorten the time for buying property.

The idea of a state-issued cryptocurrency hasn’t really come to the front, though. In many cases, enthusiasts view cryptocurrencies as independent of government. Even a smaller local government like Dubai taking this step is significant.

Could other governments follow suit? For now, most governments seem more interested in regulating cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications.

U.S. Prepares for Forum on Blockchain

While Dubai embraces blockchain, the U.S. tries to figure out its next move. On October 10, the U.S. is set to hold a blockchain forum. This is the second such forum held this year.

The forum comes on the heels of a meeting at the Philadelphia Fed. Additionally, it also comes after the recent SEC problems with a cryptocurrency ETF. Regulation is difficult for the cryptocurrency space. U.S. officials don’t seem to know how to proceed.

However, even with uncertainty, blockchain continues to move forward. Even in the U.S., there is a great deal of interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. More entrepreneurs are investing. Plus, there are more people conducting business using cryptocurrencies. Indeed, even credit unions are forming groups to study its use.

Even if banks don’t embrace cryptocurrencies, they are looking at blockchain. Financial transactions might smooth out with the help of blockchain technology.

With countries like Japan approving cryptocurrency exchanges, it’s little surprise blockchain is a bigger deal than ever. However, the U.S. better watch out. With all the talk going on at the Fed and SEC, not much is happening. Plus, even though there are forums, not much is being done.

While some blockchain enthusiasts hate the idea of regulation, the truth is that it offers some legitimacy. And, on top of regulation of cryptocurrencies, the U.S. also needs to decide whether it will embrace blockchain technology — or fall behind.

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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