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With its vision to be '10 years ahead of the rest', Dubai attracts Silicon Valley talent for Blockchain revolution - Roundtable

 

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With the strategic vision to 'put Dubai 10 years ahead of the rest', the emirate aims to run 50% of government services on the blockchain by 2020. The UAE Central Bank and the Saudi Central Bank have recently agreed to pilot a cryptocurrency for cross-border payments. This is pretty significant and very positive for the region at a time where a lot of places compete to be the hotbed for crypto, FinTech and blockchain technologies. And indeed, entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley have already relocated to Dubai to be part of the revolution.

However, blockchain is just one segment of this emerging tech theme which insiders expect to grow to be the foundation of strategic and important fundamental infrastructure (think electricity grids, power plants, dams, aerospace, cyber defense). Eventually, we may reach an inflection point where the true powers of AI, blockchain, IOT and potentially VR come together and provide seamless experiences and new business models that we probably haven't imagined before.

The half-life of the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm

However, we are also facing a major challenge. Not only is every single of the top 10 cryptocurrencies based on the same cryptography - ECDSA or Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm - but also all SSL certificates, secure web traffic, online banking, and so trillions in commerce depend on this technology right now. The US government has made the mandate to shift towards post-quantum cryptography following the NSA's public announcement of the threat that quantum computers pose to this specific and widespread class of cryptography.

The number of people that understand cryptography inside out is probably just 5,000 globally. And when it comes to post-quantum cryptography or PQC, which is the type of cryptography one which we will be going to be using, maybe just 200 people on the planet out of seven billion are able to work on solutions in that field. For them, the challenge and the potential rewards are huge.

The Opalesque Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Gulf Roundtable, sponsored by WTS Global, took place in Dubai with:

  1. H.E. Mr. Zulfiquar Z Ghadiyali, CEO- Private office H.H. Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Saeed Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan
  2. Saeed Hareb Al Darmaki, Managing Director, Alphabit Digital Currency Fund
  3. Robert Welzel, Partner, WTS Global
  4. Ahmed Al-Balaghi, Co-Host of Encrypted Podcast | FTC Community Partner Dubai
  5. Mohammed Mahfoudh, Founder & CEO, Deca4 Blockchain Advisory
  6. Zachary Cefaratti, Founder & CEO, Dalma Capital
  7. Jason King, Managing Partner, CGS Group
The group also discussed:
  • Ready Player One: Where and how Spielberg's movie has already come to life (page 7-8) - Hundreds of millions of unutilized Zakat: Using blockchain to track charitable giving (page 8-9)
  • Why you should look at the cloud if you want to understand blockchain (page 10-11)
  • ICOs: Bringing liquidity to the realm of ideas. When would a cryptocurrency deemed to be a security? What are cryptocurrency investors actually investing in? What is the (only) functionality of the Bitcoin token? The promise of security tokens offerings (STOs) and digital security offerings (DSOs). From digital representation of securities to digital composition of securities (page 11-14)
  • Case study: When could or should businesses look at cryptocurrencies and/or tokens? When do non-security crypto offerings, utility token or security token offerings actually make sense? (page 11 - 16)
  • Why and how the private sector should get involved (page 18-19)
  • Examples of blockchain applications and success stories in the UAE (page 20-22)
  • As easy as a swipe: The path to simpler solutions and more user-friendly interfaces (page 25).

Access the Opalesque Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Roundtable: Gulf | Download here

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