The Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation has established the Global Blockchain Council to explore transactions through the blockchain platform.

The Council will examine the blockchain’s impact on future business and finance, and its role in facilitating transactions within both the financial and non-financial sectors as ways to improve efficiency and reliability levels, according to a release from the Dubai government.

Blockchain transactions require all parties’ approval, which reduces the chances of money laundering and fraud. Digital currency cannot be damaged or forged, and it can move across borders with ease. It also facilitates the website and social media shopping.

Blockchain is defined as a digital protocol to enact transactions and transfer money using a global network of computers. It requires accurate documentation, the availability of digital currencies, and complete trust among stakeholders. It can be both public and private, and it allows people to choose whether to withhold or share stakeholders’ personal details.

Museum Promotes Innovation

The Council’s establishment dovetails with the Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation’s efforts to promote innovation and use the next generation of technologies to enhance the UAE’s position as a center for knowledge economy and innovation.

The Council marks a new step within the framework of the new generation of services for smart cities of the future, as well as the development of innovative solutions, said Saif Al Aleeli, chief executive officer of the Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation. The Council also promotes community awareness of the importance of innovation to meet the demands of the future, as well as to stimulate inventions and innovations.

Several studies indicate that in the next four years the global market for digital transactions will reach $9.5 billion, Al Aleeli said, while global blockchain technology investments will reach $300 billion. Blockchain platform transaction volume grew  56% during 2015, underscoring the technology’s opportunities to relevant sectors.

“The Global Blockchain Council will launch different initiatives under its umbrella to highlight and promote blockchain and digital currencies, and explore its advantages and disadvantages,” Al Aleeli  said. “It will also draw a roadmap for best uses of this emerging technology.”

Blockchain Council To Launch Initiatives

Council initiatives include an annual conference to host workshops, high-profile individuals, awareness sessions, hackathons, and start-up conferences to connect with potential investors.

The Council will help UAE authorities and corporations better understand this technology and consider its regulatory implications. It will also conduct pilot projects testing the readiness of markets to adopt digital currencies.

“By quickly mobilizing a joint council of public and private sector stakeholders, Dubai asserts its commitment to an agile and collaborative government that embraces technology innovation to enhance quality of life for all,” said H.E Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai Office. “New technologies such as blockchain open significant opportunities for all service providers to reshape transactions, making experiences more seamless and secure for all customers.”

Arif Amiri, CEO of Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, said with the evolution of the digital age, every so often a technology emerges that is so revolutionary it changes our outlook. “Blockchain is such a technology that could revolutionize the way governments and companies conduct businesses,” he said. He noted that Dubai International Financial Centre is honored to be a member of the Blockchain Technology Council of Dubai.

The first pilot project is the BitOasis project, which Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) will implement to secure flexidesk contracts and registration process using the blockchain ledger. Kraken Bitcoin Exchange, which will help DMCC catalyze blockchain technology in select Islamic finance operations, is the second pilot project.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority, said the Council’s role is to ensure that Dubai remains ahead of the curve and to provide guidance and ideas on how blockchain can benefit market participants.

Blockchain technology delivers efficiency, speed and lower transaction costs that are central to DMCC’s strategy to continuously drive innovation. “It is therefore a natural next step for DMCC to play our part in not only piloting the BitOasis and Kraken Bitcoin Exchange projects, but to do everything we can to bring more projects like these to market in the future in collaboration with the Dubai Blockchain Council,” he said.

Osman Sultan, CEO, du, said as the world is embracing innovative forms of digitization in innovative ways, blockchain can lead the next revolution. “Blockchain represents a timely new ecosystem of exchange involving different stakeholders, and it is not surprising to see Dubai taking the lead; history has proven that the city has been at the heart of various flows in this part of the world,” he said.

Dubai Embraces Innovation

Malek Al Malek, CEO, TECOM Business Parks, said the blockchain is an example of the innovation taking place across Dubai. It marks the latest in a series of government initiatives to champion smart and digital technology. “Pioneering innovation and the creation of new technology lie at the heart of Dubai’s innovation strategy, and we are delighted to be supporting this initiative, and look forward to working with the Council to ensure it is a success,” he said.

The council has 32 members, all of which are potential key players in the blockchain industry and who are shaping the market daily. Members include international companies, government entities, free zones, top UAE banks, and global blockchain technology firms including: Du, SAP, IBM, TECOM, Dubai Holding, Privity FZ LLC, Vinay Gupta, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Emirates Islamic, Microsoft, InfoSys, Cisco, Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), Souq.com, EmirateNBD, Careem, Michael Mainelli, Mashreq, Wamda, Propertyfinder.com, Kraken, Umbrellab, AstroLabs, YellowPay, SmartStart Fund, BitOasis, Etheruem, Viktor Koenig LLC, Digitus, Network int, Smart Dubai Office and Dubai Smart Government.

The average volume of bitcoin transactions in 24 hours is $105.6 million, according to market reports, and the bitcoin market cap is averaged at $6.8 billion. Bitcoin is one of the most used digital currencies. Others include as Dahs, Ripple and Aurocoin.

Blockchain supports more than 2 million bitcoin wallets and is supported by Android,  iOS, and the web, according to the release. It is globally available in more than 15 languages. It allows users to send bitcoin by text messages and emails while maintaining the user’s privacy and security.

Featured image from Museum of the Future.