Monday, December 16, 2019

City of Riyadh Partners with IBM to Integrate Blockchain Into Government Services

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Adedamola Bada
I'm Damola, a computer engineer from Obafemi Awolowo University. A crypto enthusiast, marketer, and writer who is seeking to achieve career excellence through hard work and positive contribution to the organization that aspires for excellence. Contact me on [email protected]

Saudi Arabian municipality, Riyadh, has obtained partnership with IBM to mutually come up with a strategy to concentrate government services and transactions on blockchain technology development, according to a recent report by a news outlet, ITP.

The validated decision of the Government of Saudi Arabia to work on improving the quality of municipal services for customers and integrate leading technologies into services prompted such a move, which is a vital part of the Saudi Vision 2030 program.

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salam first brought in the Saudi Vision 2030 program in 2016. This program is a detailed plan for the development and the diversification of the Saudi Arabia’s economy away from crude oil, which constitutes between 30-40 percent of the country’s GDP. The agenda also targets the development of infrastructure, healthcare, education, tourism, including military expenses, manufacturing, and procurement.

Riyadh Municipality, IBM, and Saudi tech firm Elm Company, with the assistance and endorsement of major government departments will organize workshops to take a decision on which services can be upgraded using the blockchain technology.

According to the partnership agreement, IBM is expected to develop the very first blockchain solution at the municipal level, and then Elm will materialize the technology into services provided by the Saudi government. The General Manager of IBM Saudi Arabia, Tarek Zarg El Aioun, informed ITP that the firm “believes” that blockchain technology “has the ability to change the world in the same way [as] the Internet while redefining how business and transactions happen.” Tarek further added that:

 “Through the collaboration between Riyadh Municipality, Elm and IBM, we will be able to help the Saudi government re-imagine and transform the way in which services are provided to citizens, residents, businesses, and visitors. It is a strategic step towards supporting the objectives of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.”

In May, the government of Saudi Arabia organized a “blockchain Bootcamp” session concentrated on developing Ethereum smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps). Authorities portrayed the event as part of its plan to create a “digital environment” under its year 2020 “action plan and objectives.”

A partnership between the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) and fintech giant, Ripple enterprises, reportedly started in February, as this partnership is the first of its kind in the world. The aim of the partnership is to provide adequate support for Ripple’s international payments technology to banks in Saudi Arabia. The pilot program would enable participating KSA banks to make use of Ripple’s enterprise software solution xCurrent for global payments.

Apparently, it feels that blockchain is a significant part of the “vision 2030” in the minds of the Saudi Arabian government officials, which is a massive development towards mass adoption that the crypto world is yearning for.

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