The council formed last month as part of the foundation’s efforts to adopt the latest technologies and innovation practices at a global level and explore their impact on various sectors.
The participants explored organizing a global blockchain conference in May for blockchain experts and enthusiasts. The activities will include a Hackathon to serve as an incubator that provides incentives for startups. It will also let participants meet other companies’ innovation managers.
Focus: Regulations for Blockchain
Participants expressed interest in the blockchain platform’s regulatory aspects. The council will examine what other countries are doing to regulate blockchain.
Discussion topics included educational activities, pilot projects and their framework, and the role the council plays in these projects. One main council objective is to document all the pilot projects’ findings to better understand the technology’s impact.
Council initiatives will explore distributed ledger technology and connect with potential investors, said Saif Al Aleeli, foundation CEO and a founding council member. It will also encourage innovators and pave the way for regulatory frameworks for the effective and efficient use of the blockchain platform, he added.
“The world is witnessing more interest in blockchain technology day after day,” Al Aleeli said.
The last few months witnessed a number of announcements by government entities and financial market regulatory bodies about their intention to adopt this technology taking into consideration its benefits related to increasing the efficiency of the transactions, especially in contracting and registration.
Transactions On The Rise
This rising interest reflects the increase in digital transactions which recorded 56% growth in 2015 alone. Blockchain technology applications are not limited to digital currency but can also apply to applications in different areas, Al Aleeli said.
The foundation established the council to examine current and future applications and to organize transactions through the blockchain platform.
CCN reported last month the first pilot project is the BitOasis project, which Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) will implement to secure flexidesk contracts and registration process using a distributed ledger. Kraken Bitcoin Exchange, which will help DMCC catalyze blockchain technology in select Islamic finance operations, is the second pilot project.
All Sectors To Be Explored
Going forward, the council will highlight the blockchain’s implications on the future of the finance and business sectors. It will highlight blockchain’s role in facilitating transactions within both the financial and non-financial sectors as well as increase efficiency and reliability levels.
The foundation established the council to explore emerging technologies and study their application and implementations that will benefit the UAE’s future and position the UAE and Dubai as early technology and innovation adapters. Council members comprise potential key players in the blockchain industry, including UAE banks, government entities, international companies, free zones, and international blockchain technology firms.
Meeting attendees included: IBM, Emirates Islamic, Kraken, AstroLabs, Digitus, Microsoft, Du, Umbrellab, SAP, SquareCircle Tech EmirateNBD, Cisco, Dubai Silicon Oasis, TECOM, Dubai Holding, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), Souq.com, Careem, Mashreq, Wamda, Propertyfinder.com, BitOasis, YellowPay, Privity FZ LLC, Network Int, Vinay Gupta, Smart Dubai Office and Dubai Smart Government.
Images from Museum of the Future Foundation.