Drilling for Digital Oil: Is Blockchain the New Digital Oil of The Middle East?
- DCS 2021, part of Blockchain World, will examine how the MENA region can develop a multi-billion blockchain economy as the global capital of cryptocurrency.
- The public cloud services market in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region was estimated at Dh7.97 billion ($1.9 billion) in 2020, double what it was in 2016 (Statista).
- Dr Saifedean Ammous, leading world economist and educator on blockchain will discuss ideas like green blockchain initiatives and government regulation effects on cryptocurrency.
Abu Dhabi, UAE (XX November 2021): As the world mobilizes more toward blockchain, it seems that everywhere you look, MENA countries are taking the lead in helping to establish cryptocurrency as the future of finance.
Countries in the region have a long-established reputation for being ahead of the curve when it comes to backing emerging technologies. Now, an IDC blockchain expenditure guide advised last month that blockchain spending is expected to rise at 48.0 percent CAGR throughout the 2020-2024 prediction period. Numbers like this indicate the MENA region has struck oil again through their early adoption and government support of blockchain.
So begs the question: Is blockchain the new digital oil of the Middle East, and, if so, what does this mean for the future of the region and cryptocurrency? This is just one of the key themes to be explored at next month’s DCS 2021 in Abu Dhabi as part of the impressive Blockchain World Festival.
The event brings some of the best minds in blockchain to the UAE, none more so than keynote speaker Dr Saifedean Ammous. An economist and an educator, Ammous is also the author of the “Bitcoin Standard”, the best-selling book on Bitcoin that has been translated into more than 25 languages.
“Multiple MENA countries have proven themselves as early adopters of blockchain, using it to promote commercial opportunities and boost financial services,” says Ammous. “For instance, this year, the UAE government launched the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 and Dubai Blockchain Strategy, which aims to transition half of all government transactions onto the blockchain. Likewise, the Central Bank of Bahrain has a Fintech and Innovation Unit, while the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority was one of the first to deploy blockchain technology for money transfers. The list goes on. It is clear the MENA region is at the wheel when it comes to driving blockchain forward.”
Ammous’ examples highlight that the critical ingredient helping blockchain and cryptocurrency flourish in the MENA region is government attention to these digital technologies. In contrast to the rest of the world, where many governments have tried to clamp down on cryptocurrencies, MENA governments have recognized its potential and increased their investment in the technology through regularity licenses. These licenses have allowed blockchain to survive and thrive through their support, making the region a stable innovation hub.
Moreover, what should be recognized as a powerhouse feature of blockchain is the technology’s sustainability, particularly when green assets are being cried out for amidst rising concerns over climate change and the planet’s future. Again, the MENA region has leaned into this approach, most notably in Saudi Arabia. There, oil producers Aramco have transitioned to blockchain to increase efficiency as the Saudi state accelerates its drive toward balancing its energy production through renewable sources.
MENA’s forward-thinking approach to the blockchain through regulation and green initiatives is undoubtedly leading the way in establishing the region as the epicenter of crypto finance. This makes this year’s DCS 2021 event all the more compelling as the core focus of discussion will range from enterprise and government adoption of blockchain to its diversity and social impact in a fast-changing world.
Get your tickets for the unmissable event on Platinumlist HERE, or via the DCS 2021 website HERE. You can also register for DCS 2021 HERE to watch the event free on-demand from anywhere in the world and be in with a chance of winning one BTC.
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