Dubai – MENA Herald: Keynote 2016, the international Blockchain technology conference hosted by Dubai Future Foundation, began on Monday, May 30, as part of the Foundation’s efforts to adopt the latest technology solutions in digital transactions to achieve cost efficiency and speed in operating systems related to trading mechanisms. The conference is aimed at highlighting the importance of raising organizational awareness about the impact of using this technology to achieve growth benchmarks.

The Global Blockchain Council launched the first set of initiatives in digital transactions during a panel discussion on the impact of the technology in transactions between entities and individuals. Under these initiatives, DIFC will preserve and record people’s assets; Loyyal will promote Dubai tourist locations; DMCC will enhance the trade flow and registrations; and will also certify rough diamonds through Blockchain using Kimberly international certification process

On the opening of the event, Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of Dubai Future foundation, stressed in his speech the Foundation’s focused efforts to shape the future of strategic sectors in cooperation with the government and private sectors entities. He said the Foundation is committed to promote the leading position of Dubai and the UAE as a global hub for the development of future technologies in all sectors and around the world to support growth and prosperity.

He said: “Keynote 2016 is great opportunity to discuss new innovative ideas of Blockchain technology, as it is the first outcome of the Global Blockchain Council launched earlier by the Foundation to promote innovation and make use of next generation technologies to enhance the UAE’s position as a leading centre for innovation and knowledge economy.”

He pointed out that Blockchain technology is set to transform the various sectors by speeding up transactions and offering cheaper and more efficient services. Investments in this sector are growing at an incredible pace with financial institutions investing US$75 million in 2015, more than double the amount invested in 2014. And it is expected that these investments will reach five times that amount annually by 2019.

“The variety of the conference sessions reflects the growth of Blockchain system. This is certainly a proud moment for all of us gathered here – from Blockchain experts and enthusiasts from around the world to government entities, international companies, banking institutions, free zones, and international Blockchain technology firms – as we put our heads together to see how best we can make use of the emerging opportunities in this field.”

Dr. Ayesha ibn Bishr Director General of Smart Dubai, said: “Blockchain technology is one of the most advanced techniques offering the ability to automate the processes related to the provision of financial services. It also provides a great opportunity to increase the efficiency of these services and save time and reduce costs. This technique will play an important role in supporting Dubai’s transition into a smart city by helping individuals, companies and government agencies to conduct their transactions more effectively and in an efficient manner.”

Gregory Simon, CEO and co-founder of Loyyal said: “A lot of entities around the world apply digital services. However, there is still a need to create more awareness about this technology, especially among entities in government and private sectors and achieve the development of the system to meet their requirements for integrated technical tools to achieve the highest degree of efficiency and the optimum use of the vital sectors.”

Ola Dodeen, co-founder of BitOasis, explained that the significance of the application of this technology lies in its perfect features that leads to excellence in key areas such as transparency, speed and low cost. It also enables ease in providing various services, which are basic to any digital transactions and required by the workers in all the strategic sectors of society. She said this technology is beneficial to all users, both in the government and private sectors, and therefore offers an important access to the cities of the future.

Panel discussions during the conference were participated  by international experts in the field of digital currencies and highlighted the application of Blockchain in digital transactions. The sessions highlighted innovation as the basis for success of future plans of the UAE government, and discussed topics related to digital currencies and the issues related to mining them. The conference drew attention to the role of Blockchain in improving the organizational performance and quality of economic activities by widening the range of services covered by digital currency and shifting all transactions to digital ones using the Blockchain system. It also discussed the transition to knowledge economy and introducing the system in academic curricula.

The Dubai Future Foundation is hosting the Keynote Conference in Dubai as part of the Dubai Future Agenda approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as a roadmap for the Dubai Future Foundation to shape the future of the strategic sectors. The conference aims to present Dubai as an international destination for the digital products and explore future opportunities to achieve sustainable growth of the UAE economy.