The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), has developed an e-voting platform based on blockchain technology, an announcement yesterday revealed.
The e-voting service will enable shareholders of listed companies on the exchange to vote during annual general meetings. The aim is to facilitate a simpler and more effective voting process, in what is traditionally a cumbersome and manual procedure. Presumably, each transaction on the ADX-developed blockchain platform will be counted as a vote.
Blockchain is considered a decentralized and safe network… fast, and efficient for all network partners as well as for those who participate in the workflow process.
In a nod to transparency, any shareholder participating and/or voting during annual general meetings will also be able to count the number of votes submitted, ensuring that no vote has been tampered with.
In statements, Rashed Al Blooshi, chief executive of ADX referenced the wider directive from the government of Dubai to embrace blockchain technology. The executive said:
Accordingly, adopting Blockchain technology in our projects comes in alignment with the digital transformation of Abu Dhabi’s government services as we constantly strive to introduce new ways that ease the process of doing business in the Emirate.
The platform is expected to bring higher attendance and interaction during AGM meetings, with communication channels established through an internet connection from any part of the world. Furthermore, shareholders will be able to access reports and statements relevant to the meetings. Relevant data made available would include information for the candidates of the Board or information relaying other decisions or any significant information to shareholders over their smartphones.
The initiative is seen as the first of its kind for the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. Al Blooshi added:
We are proud to be the first stock market that employs Blockchain technology in the services provided to stakeholders.
Blockchain technology has already been tapped by securities exchanges for a similar purpose in the past. In Estonia, a country already notable e-Residency program, the Tallinn Stock Exchange has also enabled blockchain e-voting for shareholders of companies listed on the capital’s stock exchange.
More specifically, the Estonian e-Residency program’s platform will be used for the endeavor, offering shareholders with the blockchain voting system. The program was launched in early 2016, in partnership with US stock exchange Nasdaq.
At the time, e-Residency program director Kasper Korjus stated:
When we started the e-Residency project a year ago, we knew we would change the way people think about nations and citizenship. Now, via our e-voting collaboration with Nasdaq, we will be revolutionizing corporate governance.
An Emirate Big on Blockchain
Meanwhile, the government of Dubai is arguably the first major administrator of its kind to implement a strategy determined to leverage blockchain technology for a number of applications.
Earlier this year, the Dubai government announced the ‘Global Blockchain Council’, positioning itself as a center for Fintech. The announcement wasn’t merely grandstanding either, as the Council quickly set about drawing plans for initiatives in 2016, within a month of its founding.
Sure enough and earlier this month, the Dubai government revealed its mandate to transfer all of its documents onto a blockchain in the coming years. Furthermore, the government is also positioning itself to execute all of its transactions on a blockchain by 2020.
The ADX is set to show a working prototype of the technology at the Abu Dhabi Government platform during this week’s GITEX Tech Week, taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre until October 20.
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