To outline and define the technology that will affect and shape the future, Keynote Events will be hosting the first Blockchain Technology Conference in the Middle East on Monday at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.
The conference, being supported by the Smart Dubai initiative with Dubai's Future Foundation as a strategic partner, will be hosting representatives from local organizations such as du, Dubai Holding, Emirates NBD, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Smart Dubai, Paypal, JP Morgan and Mashreq, alongside venture capital groups, regulators and banks and investors from the digital currency community.
Seen as the main technological innovation of digital asset and a payment system Bitcoin, Blockchain technology is a new way to automate cross-industry interactions and represents huge increases in efficiency and massive cost savings. This technology works by creating a new infrastructure within current industries or companies to connect them to each other in previously impossible ways.
“Having been a part of the Bitcoin and Blockchain universe for several years, I'm truly excited about what these technologies are going to do in the coming years,” Moe Levin, founder of Keynote Events and member of Global Blockchain Council, told Gulf News Journal. “At a time when the UAE is gearing up to become the regional hub for FinTech (financial technology), it makes perfect sense to host a conference of this kind. Everything within the world of finance is about to change, and the best way to stay ahead of the curve is by attending the Blockchain Technology Conference.”
The keynote speakers at the event include innovators, thought leaders and decision-makers from around the world, including Aisha Bin Bishr, director general at Smart Dubai; Anthony Butler, chief technology officer at IBM; Magnus Olsson, CEO at Careem; Dr. Noah Raford, founding member of the Global Blockchain Council; and Victor Kiriakos, managing director at Flat6Labs.
“Bitcoin and Blockchain are still in its nascent stage in the region, and the UAE is the first country to actively take the next step and encourage the use of the Blockchain,” Levin said. “The UAE leadership plays a lead role in fostering innovation and encouraging new processes and methods to build smarter cities; I believe the UAE will set the stage for Blockchain/FinTech adoption across the region.”
Blockchain technology and strategies are likely to disintermediate existing third-party transaction data houses to some extent, because it provides data transport cross-industry and ensures security and integrity (preventing alteration and unauthorized manipulation of records).
As of the first quarter of 2016, total venture capital investment in Bitcoin and Blockchain startups now exceeds $1.1 billion. There are now four times as many Blockchain/hybrid startups than there was last year, and the first quarter of 2016 was the first time Blockchain and hybrid startups raised more money than Bitcoin startups.
NASDAQ also recently invested more than $100 million in implementing this new technology across the world’s second largest exchange. Likewise, visionaries like Apple’s Steve Wozniak, entrepreneur Jeremy Allaire, and Virgin’s Richard Branson are investing millions in Blockchain technology, and they are among the first to see how valuable distributed ledgers are about to become.
Levin said that changes in the FinTech space are making waves across the world, and those changes will definitely affect the region in the coming months. The UAE is a melting pot for expats from around the globe - remittances, insurance, financial investment advisories and online trading is big business; and all of the players in these segments will have to adapt at some point. But, rather than waiting for these changes to become mandatory or be forced to change at some later stage, businesses and organizations have the opportunity to be proactive and create differentiation for themselves, if they commit to studying and investing in these new technologies now.
“Keynote is the only conference that plugs attendees directly into the greatest industry minds and provides them with unparalleled access to the technologies that are redefining the world of payments, shipping, finance, health care and more,” Levin said. “I strongly recommend innovators, decision-makers and executives to be a part of the conference, to take advantage of this master class and be part of a FinTech revolution.”