December 8, 2016
Invited as honorary guest and startup on exhibition to B conference – one of the Gulf area’s major blockchain conferences in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, CARDANO Lab, an Infinity Blockchain Labs (IBL) entity, has made its debut and captured a helicopter view of blockchain adoption and applications in this forward thinking country.
UAE, specifically Dubai is known to the world with ambitious statement of shifting government data to blockchain by 2020 as well as other unparalleled initiatives of Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation, the 12-week Dubai Future Accelerators program and the Global Blockchain Council led by Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The council now consists of 46 members, including Dubai Trade, Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange, Emirates, Moe Levin and Dubai Department of Economic Development. “The global blockchain council comes under the strategic direction of UAE leadership in position UAE as a global centre for shaping the future within the strategic sectors. ” said Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Cabinet Member, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Future and Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation.
Compared with its regional neighbors, UAE enjoys more well-equipped and established infrastructure, facilities and governmental support to proliferate blockchain applications in both financial and non-financial industries. Interestingly each emirate is quite autonomous in its strategy and adoption of the technology, which explains why Dubai has been capturing most attention from blockchain advocates around the world. Abu Dhabi – also the capital is ramping up and catching up with the race of embracing blockchain, which partly explains why B conference is housed in this beautiful emirate this time.
Also the private-public partnership in blockchain development is also a prevalent practice in UAE and this also applies to blockchain development. The global investment firm of Dubai Holding shook hands with the government in the Dubai Future Accelerators program to further development of blockchain business concepts in six “challenging areas” such as transportation, law, education and public utilities. Also smart meters, smart cities and business process improvements using blockchain are under the radar of the government and companies seeking to viably deploy blockchain in business.
Blockchain is not only laid out in government strategy. Teaming up with other financial institution peers in Singapore and European area, Emirates NBD Bank has recently conducted the very first successful cross-border blockchain transaction with the Indian Bank of ICICI.
“Smart” has become the buzzword. Smart meter, smart travel and most recently smart city have been on trend. The paperless strategy b 2020 of Dubai government is a joint initiative between the Dubai Future Foundation and Dubai Smart City Office. This comes under the umbrella of Dubai Future Agenda which aims to transform UAE into the global hub of “smart” technologies.
What is next?
CEO and Co-Founder Greg Simon of Loyyal – one of Dubai Future Accelerators Program participant told the media: “This program (Dubai Future Accelerators Program) is unique as the objective to hand-select 31 of the most cutting-edge technology providers from around the world, bring them together to find solutions to specific government challenges, and rapidly deploy those solutions into society.”
This has been validated at B conference where public voting and solutions to public services and social challenges such as energy consumption are under the spotlight. Security and legal compliance of blockchain are also discussed by major institutions such as PwC and Zayed University Abu Dhabi. Finance is obviously a blockchain hotbed with the French AXA Group recently investing $ 55 million in the Canadian startup Blockstream located in Montreal. Also Goldman Sachs has achieved license for its own cryptocurrency SETLcoin. A number of global consortia and associations like R3, Hyperledger, to be name a few, showcases how blockchain has been on fire around major financial players.
Last but not least, startups working on Economy of Things – the “marriage” between blockchain and Internet of Things, real estate and crowdfunding also project their vision of stronger blockchain adoption in the world, which will fuel more initiatives in the future for UAE, the Gulf Area and beyond.
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Contact: Nicole Nguyen PR@blockchainlabs.asia