Blockchain Could Help the Middle East Leapfrog Into the Digital Age

"It’s a great chance to build a new financial infrastructure in the region."

More interesting news is coming out of Davos as blockchain technology takes central stage. Blockchain, the bitcoin wallet provider, as well as developer of cryptocurrency and distributed ledger software, is set on a big expansion of its operations in the markets of the Middle East, its chief executive Peter Smith has revealed at the World Economic Forum.

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Peter Smith, CEO, Blockchain
Peter Smith, CEO, Blockchain

According to the United Arab Emirates newspaper The National, during a debate on the effects of the fourth industrial revolution on Arab economies, Smith said: “I am very optimistic about the Middle East and we plan to invest big there. I’m really excited about it. It’s a great chance to build a new financial infrastructure in the region.

What’s exciting is that there’s this big drive for change in the economies. Saudi Arabia and the UAE want to leapfrog into the digital age in financial technology.”

The newspaper adds that Blockchain is in partnership with the government of Dubai, which intends to eliminate all paperwork from its financial transactions by 2020. The Dubai Future Foundation has turned to blockchain startups in recent years to develop new ways to advance the country – such as a tourism incentivization program, called Dubai Points, developed by Loyyal.

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