Editor’s note: The article has been updated and amended to clarify that Blockchain has not partnered with the Dubai government, as confirmed by a representative for the government.
Bitcoin wallet and block explorer resource Blockchain has focused its expansion efforts with investment in the Middle Eastern region.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum this week in Davos, Switzerland, Blockchain CEO Peter Smith also revealed plans for expanding the company to gain a presence in the Middle East.
As reported by regional English publication The National, Smith stated:
I am very optimistic about the Middle East and we plan to invest big there. I’m really excited about it. It’s a great chance to build a new financial infrastructure in the region.
The Dubai government’s blockchain embrace was first revealed in October 2016, when the crown Prince of Dubai, Hamdan bin Mohammed, announced the “Dubai Blockchain Strategy” program. The roadmap leads to the government of Dubai executing all of its transactions on a blockchain by 2020. The prince laid claim to the fact that Dubai would be the first government in the world to do so.
Dubai is quickly proving to be a hotbed for bitcoin- and blockchain activity. The Dubai government set the ball rolling in setting up the emirate as a hub, with the establishment of the Global Blockchain Council in early 2016. In May 2016, Dubai-based bitcoin startup and exchange BitOasis completed a successful first round of seed funding. The startup saw its official launch as an exchange in September last year.
More recently, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange developed and launched an e-voting distributed ledger platform for shareholders of listed companies to register their votes seamlessly.
Participating leaders at the Middle-East specific panel at WEF 2017 were in agreement about Fintech’s transformative potential. However, allegations of bitcoin misuse in terrorism financing led to leaders seeing the regulation of the Fintech industry as a challenge. To this, Smith reminded those attending that there was no evidence to show that terrorists had used bitcoin in the past. A Europol report in the aftermath of the Paris attacks from November 2015 confirmed the same, finding no evidence to suggest bitcoin’s use in terrorism financing.
CCN has contacted Blockchain for comment and will update the story when we hear more.
Images from Shutterstock.
Last modified (UTC): February 27, 2017 14:19