Blockchain and the Middle East

Dubai and Saudi Arabia are at the forefront of bitcoin technology in the Middle East, according to a report by Accenture entitled: "How the Middle East can unleash blockchain's transformative potential".

Financial services companies in areas such as payment, supply chain financing and trade, reporting, compliance and operations could gain the most from adopting this technology, the report says. Other areas could be digital signature and supply chain finance.

Three major obstacles to the adoption of blockchain are insufficient knowledge among executives; regulatory issues; and the lack of a fully functioning ecosystem that would support the rollout of relevant solutions, according to the report.

Other companies around the world, including New Zealand, are working on this technology and have a lot to offer.

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is an innovative way to store data in a distributed ledger that allows multiple stakeholders to share access to the same information confidently and securely.

Originally, blockchain was used to support cryptocurrencies, the popularity of which gave rise to the idea of using distributed ledger technology to create trusted products.

The underlying technology provides the infrastructure to build innovative applications beyond cryptocurrencies, including logistics and smart contracts, and has the power to drive profound changes across business, communities and society.

Blockchain will supercharge artificial intelligence and the internet of things to make everything from supply chains to digital identity management smarter and more secure.

Indeed, security is key to the success of blockchain. To date, vulnerabilities in some applications have been exploited with negative consequences. An Accenture-derived solution using Hardware Security Modules essentially solves that problem.

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Wednesday, 19 June 2019